London's award-winning comedy Art, which originally opened at the Wyndham's Theatre on 15 October 1996, has announced a new cast who will take over from Tuesday 20 January - Roger Allam will play 'Marc', Mick Ford 'Serge' and Jack Dee 'Yvan'. The current cast - Malcolm Storry, Nigel Havers and Ron Cook - leave on 18 January.
Having played the role of 'Serge' in the summer of 1997, Roger Allam returns to Art to take over the role of 'Marc'. Roger Allam has extensive theatre credits including The Way of the World and Arcadia at the Royal National Theatre aswell as playing the role of 'Javert' in the original cast of Les Miserables at the Barbican and The Palace Theatres.
Mick Ford is a regular Royal Shakespeare Company actor and he recently starred in the West End production of The Herbal Bed for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Jack Dee makes his acting debut playing 'Yvan'. Jack Dee is well known to British television audiences as a 'stand-up' comedian - he currently has his own TV series - and, although the production continues to sell-out, no doubt Art's producers hope Jack Dee's name will help reach a new (and younger?) audience, as well as benefit from the press coverage such a high profile name will bring.
Talking of high profile names, both Helen Mirren and Michael Gambon are said to be interested in starring in the British premiere of Yasmina Reza's next play The Unexpected Man which is due to open at the Royal Shakespeare Company's 200 seater Pit Theatre in London next year. This production will reunite Reza with translator Chritopher Hampton, director Matthew Warchus and designer Mark Thompson when it opens on 15 April 1998, after previews from 8 April.
The Unexpected Man is translated from Reza's 1995 play L'Homme du Hasard which has already won a 1995 Molieire Award for Best Author. The play is about what happenes when two strangers, a man and a woman, sit opposite one another on a train from Paris to Frankfurt. He, an embittered novelist, she, a life-long fan with his recent book in her bag. They do not speak to each other, but their thoughts pour out in dazzling monologues about their loves and lives, art and fiction. If successful, the production is expected to make a swift transfer to a commercial West End theatre.