It will play two out-of-town dates first, at Brighton's Theatre Royal (Jan. 8-12) and Theatre Royal, Bath (Jan. 14-19), before opening in the West End. It is co-produced by Michael Codron, who also produced the play's original London production at the Queen's Theatre, and Theatre Royal Bath Productions.
Directed by Richard Eyre, with design by Tim Hatley, the play is set in the 1960s in an English language school for foreigners, portraying several years in the lives of seven teachers. At the heart of the group is St. John Quartermaine (Atkinson) – kind, pleasant and agreeable, but utterly hopeless as a teacher. An almost permanent feature in the staff room, he's always available to listen to the problems of his self-obsessed colleagues. But when a new principal is appointed, his future looks precarious.
Atkinson first came to national attention in the late 1970s in the renowned Amnesty International show "The Secret Policeman's Ball" and in the BBC satirical comedy series "Not the Nine O’Clock News." He subsequently created both The Black Adder with writer Richard Curtis, and his most famous character Mr. Bean, who first emerged in his 1980s stage revues and was developed into a television series with Richard Curtis and Robin Driscoll. "Mr. Bean" has been screened in over 240 countries and transformed into an animated series and two feature films, co-produced by Atkinson, "Bean" and "Mr. Bean's Holiday." Other films include "Never Say Never Again," "The Lion King" (for which he provided the voice of Zazu), "The Witches," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Johnny English," "Love Actually" and "Johnny English Reborn." Quartermaine’s Terms marks his first appearance in a play for almost 25 years, though most recently he starred as Fagin in the return of Cameron Mackintosh's production of Oliver! to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He first appeared in the West End in 1981 in Rowan Atkinson in Revue, also produced by Codron.
Eyre was formerly artistic director of the National Theatre (1988–97). He is currently represented on Broadway by Mary Poppins. Other recent productions include Private Lives with Kim Cattrall (West End and Broadway), A Flea in Her Ear (Old Vic), The Last of the Duchess (Hampstead) and Carmen (for New York's Metropolitan Opera).
To book tickets for the West End run, contact the box office on 0844 482 5120, or visit www.quartermainesterms.com for more details.