Art revival to visit the North East

Peter Lathan

A revival of Yasmina Reza’s award-winning comedy Art, translated by Christopher Hampton, will visit Newcastle’s Theatre Royal in 2018.

The producers of the new tour, which will star Nigel Havers as Serge, Denis Lawson as Marc and Stephen Tompkison as Ivan, are David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers who, twenty years ago, were responsible for both the original eight year West End run and the subsequent national tour.

That production won an Olivier Award for the Best New Comedy, a New York Drama Critics’ Award and a Tony Award for Best Play and an Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.

Now, as then, the director is Matthew Warchus and the up-coming tour is a re-casting of his December 2016 to February 2017 production at The Old Vic, where he is artistic director.

In his review of that production, BTG London Editor Philip Fisher wrote, “there is no reason to believe that this revival should not prove incredibly popular at the Old Vic and might just engender a longer life across the country and the globe as the original production did.”

David Pugh said, "it is twenty years since Dafydd and I first produced the comedy masterpiece Art in the West End, and the original post-London tour played for 78 weeks. This time, we want to break our own record; in fact, we want to play as many theatres as Sir Ken Dodd has played in his wonderful career, and with this marvellous cast, we think we have every chance!"

Now the production, with the new cast, will open at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from 14 to 24 February 2018 and will run at Newcastle Theatre Royal from 5 to 10 March.

It will also visit Plymouth Theatre Royal, Belfast Grand Opera House, Dublin Gaiety Theatre, The Lowry in Salford, Leeds Grand, Glasgow Theatre Royal, Sheffield Lyceum, Norwich Theatre Royal, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Bath Theatre Royal, The Royal and Derngate in Northampton, Birmingham Hippodrome, Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury where the tour ends on 9 June.