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Modern art tests old friendships in hit play


By Advertiser Reporter


Stephen Tompkinson, Nigel Havers and Denis Lawson look at the contentious painting in ART, at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, next week. Photograph: Matt Crockett
Stephen Tompkinson, Nigel Havers and Denis Lawson look at the contentious painting in ART, at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, next week. Photograph: Matt Crockett

One of the most successful comedies, and the winner of every major world theatre award, is on tour with three famous faces from stage and television.

The Olivier, Tony and Moliere award-winning ART is being revived by Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson.

It is staged at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, from Monday until May 5.

The play, about three old friends — Serge, Yvan and Marc — in Paris who fall out when one buys a very expensive piece of modern art, deals with the issue of friendship and relationships.

The trio discover they have differing opinions about what constitutes art when confronted by the peculiar painting.

Originally a French language play written by Yasmina Reza, the English version, translated by Christopher Hampton, opened in the West End in 1996 to critical acclaim and ran for eight years.

This revival production from The Old Vic is produced by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers.

Pugh said: “It is 20 years since Dafydd (Rogers) 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 played in his wonderful career. With this marvellous cast, we think we have every chance.”

Tompkinson’s television credits include five series of DCI Banks, four of Trollied, seven of Wild At Heart, six of the award-winning Drop The Dead Donkey and three of Ballykissangel.

On the stage, he is well-known for Spamalot, Rattle Of A Simple Man and Arsenic And Old Lace in the West End.

Havers, whose films include Chariots Of Fire, A Passage To India, Empire Of The Sun and The Whistle Blower, starred in The Importance Of Being Earnest and Harold Pinter’s Family Voices, both directed by Sir Peter Hall for the National Theatre.

Lawson was nominated for an EMMY award for his role as John Jarndyce in the BBC’s adaptation of Bleak House.

He is also known for, playing DI Steve McAndrew in New Tricks.



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