Audiences have not flocked to the pairing of Dougray Scott and Jasper Britton as Becket and Henry II, so the show will close up shop on Dec. 11 instead of the planned February 12.
The pair followed a long line of big-name duos to play the leads in London, from Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn to Derek Jacobi and Robert Lindsay. But despite critical praise for Britton, Scott was not well reviewed, and it was he who had the higher profile.
For Scott, who’s made a big-screen name for himself with films including “Mission Impossible II” and “Enigma,” this was the first return to the London stage since he starred in Nick Whitby’s To the Green Fields Beyond for Sam Mendes at the Donmar Warehouse in 2000. Britton is a more frequent theatre actor, having appeared, in recent years, in Simon Gray’s Japes, Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe and the RSC double-bill of The Taming of the Shrew and The Tamer Tamed.
The new production — which uses a new adaptation by Frederic Raphael (who won a screenwriting Oscar for the film “Darling”) — is directed by John Caird and produced by Kim Poster. Designs are by Stephen Brimson Lewis, lighting by Peter Mumford and original score by John Cameron.
The cast also includes Sean Baker, Bethan Bevan, Michael Cox, Anne Firbank, Michael Fitzgerald, Polly Kemp, Arthur Kohn, Catrina Lear, Gareth Llewelyn, Daniel Pirrie, John Quentin, Richard Stacey and Paul Stewart. For further information, call (0)870 901 3356.