New Production of Coward's Design for Living Opens at London's Old Vic Sept. 15

News   New Production of Coward's Design for Living Opens at London's Old Vic Sept. 15
A new production of Noël Coward's Design for Living, starring Tom Burke, Lisa Dillon and Andrew Scott, opens at London's Old Vic Sept. 15 (following previews that began Sept. 3), for a season through Nov. 27.

Andrew Scott, Lisa Dillon and Tom Burke
Andrew Scott, Lisa Dillon and Tom Burke Photo by Manuel Harlan

It is directed by Anthony Page, and the cast also includes Nancy Crane, Matthew Gammie, John Hollingworth, Maggie McCarthy, Maya Wasowicz and Angus Wright. Designs are by Lez Brotherston, with lighting by David Hersey and sound by Paul Groothuis. The Old Vic is co-producing the show with Nica Burns, Max Weitzenhoffer and Jay Harris.

According to press materials, the play revolves around three egotistical, beguiling and self-absorbed characters – Gilda, an interior designer (Dillon), Otto, an artist (Burke), and Leo, a playwright (Scott) – who challenge the moral boundaries of relationships. In a press statement, director Page commented, "I love this play for the miraculous lightness of the dialogue which contains a huge range of passions. The central relationship — the involvement of two bisexuals and a girl — is no longer shocking as it was the 30s, when it had to be presented in a somewhat coded fashion for the play to be performed. But Noel Coward’s unsentimental clarity in his analysis of their passion for each other and for success — and the way this brings them pain and ecstasy over the years — has the brilliance of a classic dark comedy."

Kevin Spacey, the Old Vic's artistic director, added, “I am delighted to be opening our seventh season with this compelling and witty Coward classic. Though written nearly 80 years ago, it's a play which is wonderfully modern in its study of young love and ambition. Gilda, Otto and Leo are great roles for young actors, and we are thrilled to be welcoming to The Old Vic three of the most exciting British stage actors of their generation. We undertook extensive auditions to get the right actors with the right chemistry to bring these exuberant characters to life, and believe that in Lisa, Tom and Andrew we have found a fantastic trio."

Burke was seen in the Donmar's production of Creditors, for which he received the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. The production subsequently transferred to New York's BAM. Film credits include "Telstar" with Kevin Spacey, "Clean Skin" with Robert Carlyle, "The Kid" and "Cheri."

Dillon played Mary Smith in the BBC series "Cranford." On stage, she has been seen most recently in the production of Private Lives at the Vaudeville that starred Kim Cattrall; other credits include The Master Builder, co-starring with Patrick Stewart, in a production also directed by Anthony Page, for which she received the Ian Charles Award for Outstanding Newcomer in 2004. Immediately following Design For Living, she will stay at the Old Vic to star in Richard Eyre's production of A Flea in Her Ear, opening in December. Scott has appeared on Broadway in the world premiere of David Hare's The Vertical Hour, with Bill Nighy and Julianne Moore. He was most recently seen on the London stage in Mike Bartlett's Cock at the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs.

Page's recent directorial credits include Waiting for Godot (for Roundabout at Studio 54 on Broadway), Rosmersholm with Helen McCrory (Almeida) and The Lady from Dubuque with Maggie Smith (Theatre Royal, Haymarket). His extensive TV credits including directing the 1990s period drama series "Middlemarch."

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7628, or visit for more details.

Andrew Scott, Lisa Dillon and Tom Burke
Andrew Scott, Lisa Dillon and Tom Burke Photo by Manuel Harlan
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