Keen Replaces Britton in Royal Court's Arsonists

News   Keen Replaces Britton in Royal Court's Arsonists London's Royal Court has announced a cast change for the venue's forthcoming production of The Arsonists, which opens on Nov. 6 following previews that begin Nov. 1.

In a statement, the theatre said that actor Jasper Britton, who was to play the central role of Biederman, has withdrawn from the production for "personal reasons."

The role will now be played by Will Keen. Keen's previous appearance on the London stage was also as a replacement. In the Donmar Warehouse's recent production of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Keen played the role of Molina for which Iain Glen was originally cast. Glen pulled out of that production because he was "indisposed."

For Max Frisch's The Arsonists, which in previouos translations has also been staged as The Fire Raisers, Keen will join Paul Chahidi (as Schmitz) and Benedict Cumberbatch (as Eisenring). Ramin Gray's production will play in repertory with the cross-cast Rhinoceros, which also stars Cumberbatch and, despite his withdrawal from The Arsonists, Britton.

Frisch's 1958 play concerns the refusal of Biederman, a hair lotion manufacturer, to face up to the reality of his situation, which is that there is a plague of arson in his town and the two men who have encamped themselves in his attic are clearly preparing to burn his house down.

This new production is translated by Alistair Beaton, author of Feelgood, King of Hearts and Follow My Leader. For more on the Royal Court's season, call (0)20 7565 5000.