The 24th cast for Yasmina Reza's hit play Art has been announced.
Jamie Theakston, one of the UK's highest profile presenters, will be making his stage debut in the West End when he joins the new cast of Art as Serge from March 4. Theakston has been a DJ with BBC Radio 1 since 1999 and is a regular presenter of Top of the Pops. He co-hosted the Saturday morning epic, Live and Kicking, with Zoe Ball and now runs The Priory. This may be Theakston's first West End performance, but he is no stranger to the stage as he used to be a member of the National Youth Theatre.
Theakston will be joined by Stephen McGann and Christopher Luscombe as Marc and Yvann. McGann is best associated as one of the "Brothers McGann." Luscombe has done many productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company and in London he has appeared in The Traitor (Young Vic Studio), Kean (Old Vic), and Peter Pan (National Theatre). He is director of the revival of Noel Coward's Star Quality at the Apollo Theatre, starring Penelope Keith.
The original London production of Art opened at Wyndham's in 1996 and transferred to the Whitehall last autumn to make way for The Play What I Wrote. Art has been a huge success, winning playwright Yasmina Reza an Olivier Award and an Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy. Having caused a stir in London, Art transferred to Broadway where it went on to win both the Tony Award and the New York Critics Award for Best Play.
The play was first produced in Paris, at the Comédie des Champs Elysées, in 1994. Sean Connery went to see this production and liked it so much that he decided to back an English-language production. He and co-producer David Pugh asked the playwright Christopher Hampton to translate the script.
—by Deirdre Smith Theatrenow