News: Lee Mack to replace Stephen Fry in The Understudy

Everyone needs an understudy, right? Stepping into the role of narrator, replacing Stephen Fry, is BAFTA and British Comedy Award winning legend Lee Mack. The full cast of The Understudy, now includes Matthew Horne, Emily Atack, James Norton, Mina Anwar, Natalie Casey, Adelayo Adedayo, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Sasha Frost, Marie Lawrence, James McNicholas, Lizzie Muncey and Jake Ferretti.

Stephen Fry commented: “Circumstances have forced me to be in the US from Dec 4th to late January which means, despite my highest hopes and confident promises, I won’t be able to be a part of The Understudy this year, as so fervently hoped. I am very, very sorry to let you down at the last minute. I am cheering you on from the sidelines.”

A perfect pre-Christmas treat for theatre lovers, this exclusive semi-staged rehearsed reading of The Understudy will run for two nights only at London’s Palace Theatre. The play forms part of the initiative first launched by the Lawrence Batley Theatre in May, with proceeds once again being split between Acting For Others, the Equity Charitable Trust and The Theatre Development Trust, run by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre.

Directed by Giles Croft, The Understudy is written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and will be accompanied by Dusthouse’s wonderful animation from the play’s online version. Having previously recorded their lines in isolation, this will be the first time the actors will be performing together in the flesh as they swap their makeshift recording studios at home for the real life stage.

The Understudy is based on the novel by the best-selling author David Nicholls, The Understudy tells the story of an underdog – a failed husband, a failing father, a failing actor, and the impossible choice he’s going to have to make between stealing the show and stealing another man’s wife.

To book tickets visit

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