News: Patricia Hodge and Nigel Havers to star in Private Lives

David Pugh and Theatre Royal Bath Productions are delighted to present The Nigel Havers Theatre Company in Noel Coward’s gloriously entertaining Private Lives. This will be the inaugural show for The Nigel Havers Theatre Company, which will be touring the country with a wonderful line-up of theatrical gems. The plan is that the UK Tour of Private Lives will begin at Theatre Royal Bath on 1 October 2020.

Award-winning theatre producer David Pugh said of the new company: “Nigel Havers is one of the biggest stars who likes to tour and in the past we have had some incredibly successful partnerships, from Art through to Frank McGuinness’s adaption of Rebecca.

“My suggestion last year to Nigel to form The Nigel Havers Theatre Company was met with a wry smile, but he warmed to the idea and finally agreed that he would take 18 weeks out each year to tour a play, ‘as long as the play is entertaining and, most importantly, ticket prices are accessible to as many people as possible.’”

David continued: “Little did we know last year that this now seems to be more important than ever and, when we are allowed again to safely open theatres, we have to realise theatre can no longer be the luxury item it so often is; theatre should be able to be seen by and be for everybody. Ticket pricing and ticketing charges have become ridiculous. I believe our job is simply to entertain and to as many people as possible and now, out of this crisis, let’s hope we can address this and do just that.”

Coward’s dazzling comic masterpiece is both a scintillatingly witty and scathingly vitriolic study of the rich and reckless in love. Elyot and Amanda, who were once married, find themselves in adjoining rooms in the same hotel on the French Riviera, both on honeymoon with their new partners. Their initial horror quickly evaporates and soon they’re sharing cocktails and a romantic serenade.

The Olivier Award-winning Patricia Hodge OBE, one of the country’s most loved actresses, plays Amanda. Nigel Havers, ever suave and thoroughly charming, plays Elyot, the role taken by Noël Coward himself in the original production in 1930. Astonishingly, it is the first time Nigel Havers has appeared in a Coward play on stage. Dugald Bruce-Lockhart plays Victor and Natalie Walter plays Sibyl.

Patricia Hodge’s many theatre credits include A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Trafalgar Studios), Copenhagen (Chichester Festival Theatre), Travels With My Aunt (Minerva, Chichester), Relative Values (Harold Pinter), Calendar Girls (Noel Coward Theatre), The Country Wife (Theatre Royal Haymarket), His Dark Materials (National), Noises Off (National), Money (National, for which she won the Olivier for Best Supporting Actress) and A Little Night Music (National). Her recent television credits include Ursula Thorpe in A Very English Scandal (BBC), Mrs Pelham in Downton Abbey (ITV) and Penny in Miranda (BBC).

Nigel Havers’s television credits include the soon to be seen Roger in Finding Alice (ITV) and General Ransom in the new remake of All Creatures Great & Small (Channel 5). Other recent television credits include Lewis Archer in Coronation Street (Granada), Stanley Keen in Benidorm (ITV) and Lord Hepworth in Downton Abbey (ITV). Theatre includes Serge in the UK Tour and West End productions of Art, Algernon Moncrieff in the UK Tour of The Importance of Being Earnest and Maxim de Wynter in the UK Tour of Rebecca. His film credits include playing David Niven in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Hofstadter in Paradise Lost, Dr Rawlins in Empire of the Sun and Lord Andrew Lindsay in Chariots of Fire.

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart most recently appeared as Michael Gove in The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson at Park Theatre. He has also played David Cameron in The Three Lions (St James Theatre and Edinburgh Festival), for which he was nominated for Best Actor in The Stage Awards. Other theatre credits include Bill Austin in Mamma Mia! (Novello), David Hart in Wonderland (Hampstead), Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps (UK Tour) and, for Ed Hall’s Propeller Theatre Company, he has played the title role in Henry V, Antipholus of Syracuse in Comedy of Errors and Ratcliffe in Richard III.

Natalie Walter’s most recent theatre credits include Pack of Lies (Menier Chocolate Factory), Jerusalem (Watermill Theatre), Smash (Menier Chocolate Factory), 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Bush), 39 Steps (Criterion), Hay Fever (Chichester Festival Theatre) and, for the RSC, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Love’s Labour’s Lost. Natalie was a regular performer in the CBBC series Horrible Histories.

Private Lives will be directed by Christopher Luscombe, with set and costume designs by Simon Higlett, lighting design by Tim Mitchell and casting by Sarah Bird.

The Nigel Havers Theatre Company’s Private Lives is produced by David Pugh and Theatre Royal Bath Productions.

TOUR SCHEDULE 2020

Theatre Royal Bath
Thursday 1 – Saturday 10 October
01225 448844
theatreroyal.org.uk

Norwich Theatre Royal
Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 October
01603 630000
norwichtheatre.org

Everyman Theatre Cheltenham
Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 October
01242 572573
everymantheatre.org.uk
Tickets on sale soon

Newcastle Theatre Royal
Tuesday 27 – Saturday 31 October
0844 811 2121
theatreroyal.co.uk

Cambridge Arts Theatre
Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 November
01223 503333
cambridgeartstheatre.com
Tickets on sale soon

Richmond Theatre
Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 November
0844 871 7651
atgtickets.com/Richmond

Malvern Theatres
Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 November
01684 892277
malvern-theatres.co.uk
Tickets on sale soon

Leeds Grand Theatre
Tuesday 16 – Saturday 20 March 2021
0844 848 2700
www.leedsgrandtheatre.com
Tickets on sale soon

Further dates to be announced.

Photo credit: John Swannell

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