It will begin performances Sept. 17, prior to an official opening Sept. 27, at the Harold Pinter Theatre, for a run through Jan. 5, 2013.
The play was originally produced at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in 1984, which was then being run by Ayckbourn and who directed it himself there, and then the following year at the National Theatre in a re-cast production that the author also directed and which subsequently transferred to the West End. In the play, "The Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society's production of The Beggar's Opera is going off the rails, that is until a handsome but shy young widower Guy (Harman) joins the group. An instant hit with the company's ferociously zealous director Dafydd (Brydon) and the show's leading ladies, including Dafydd’s wife Hannah (Jensen), Guy soon gets more than he bargained for as he discovers that all the best action happens off-stage. Classic songs fill the air as the drama on stage is mirrored by the romantic rivalry and small town squabbles causing a stir in the wings of this ambitious local show."
Brydon, who plays Dafydd ap Llewellyn, makes his West End acting debut in the play. Harman, who plays Guy Jones, won a 2012 Laurence Olivier award for his portrayal of Lord Farquaad in Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Jensen, who plays Hannah Llewellyn, is a British Comedy and BAFTA award winning actress who is best known for her TV roles that include Maggie opposite Ricky Gervais in "Extras" for which she was also Emmy nominated, Christina McKinney in ABC's "Ugly Betty" and Olivia in the CBS sitcom "Accidentally on Purpose."
The company will also include Teresa Banham, Daisy Beaumont, Georgia Brown, Rob Compton, Matthew Cottle and Steven Edis, who is also the show’s musical director. Designs are by Rob Jones, with lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Fergus O’Hare. It is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions.