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West End regular Amanda Drew is to join Dominic West in the forthcoming revival of Simon Gray’s comedy Butley, which plays at the Duchess theatre from 1 June to 27 August (press night 6 June).

Amanda Drew, who plays the estranged wife of West’s university lecturer Ben Butley, is no stranger to Gray’s work, having appeared in the 2005 revival of his Otherwise Engaged at the Criterion theatre. Her other recent credits include House Of Games and Parlour Song at the Almeida theatre, The Ugly One and Faces In the Crowd at the Royal Court, the hit play Enron at the Royal Court and Noël Coward theatre and, most recently, Peter Hall's production of Twelfth Night at the National's Cottesloe theatre.

Dominic West, who has proved himself in recent years to be a consummate stage actor, starring in productions such as The Voysey Inheritance (National), Rock ‘n’ Roll (West End) and Life Is A Dream (Donmar), will now take on the iconic title role of the rapier-tongued lecturer in a major new revival of Simon Gray’s Butley.

The cast will also include Penny Downie, whose recent credits include playing Queen Gertrude alongside David Tennant in Hamlet for the RSC, and the feature film Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood. Paul McGann (Withnail and I, Doctor Who) will play the character of Reg Nuttall along with Martin Hutson, who returns to the Duchess theatre where he appeared in Taking Sides/Collaboration in 2009. Cai Brigden and Emma Hiddleston complete the cast.

The production will be directed by Lindsay Posner, whose credits include An Ideal Husband, A View From The Bridge (both West End),Fiddler on the Roof (Sheffield Crucible and West End), Fool for Love, Oleanna (both West End) and Death and the Maiden (Royal Court and West End). The production will be designed by Peter McKintosh.

The play premiered in 1971 in Harold Pinter’s award-winning production starring Alan Bates at London’s Criterion Theatre.  It won the 1971 Evening Standard Award for Best Play. The 40th Anniversary revival of Simon Gray’s classic award-winning comedy will open at the Duchess Theatre from 1 June 2011, following one week at Brighton Theatre Royal.

Butley is a play about a university lecturer, Ben Butley, who shares his office and his flat with a former star pupil, Joey, now also a lecturer. On the day when the play takes place Butley faces both the ultimate breakdown of his marriage and of his intense friendship with Joey. Butley’s painful discoveries are made against a background of petty university politics and unease about student dissent. He greets them with a blistering torrent of repartee and rhetoric.

Book Butley tickets online now

[posted by Louise, 24/03/2011]

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