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Don Gregory and Birmingham Repertory Theatre present Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey, directed by Lindsay Posner and starring James Dreyfus and Maureen Lipman, at Theatre Royal Haymarket. Previews begin on 17 March 2015, before an official opening on 23 March, with a strictly limited run through to 2 May 2015.
Synopsis: "Elwood P. Dowd has only one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit named Harvey. In order to save the family's reputation, Elwood's sister Veta takes him to see psychiatrist Dr William Chumley. But when the doctor mistakenly commits anxiety-ridden Veta instead of her brother, it sets off an hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit."
The cast of Harvey includes James Dreyfus (Elwood P. Dowd), Maureen Lipman (Veta Louise Simmons), David Bamber (William R. Chumley), Desmond Barrit (Judge Omar Gaffney), Felicity Dean (Betty Chumley), Ingrid Oliver (Myrtle Mae Simmons), Amanda Boxer (Miss Ethel Chauvenet), Sally Scott (Nurse Ruth Kelly), Youssef Kerkour (Duane Wilson), Jack Hawkins (Lyman Sanderson) and Linal Haft (E J Lofgren).
The creative team features scenic design by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Howard Harrison and sound design by Paul Groothuis.
Harvey premiered on Broadway in 1944, directed by Antoinette Perry, and went on to premiere in the West End in 1949 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. A film adaptation by Mary Chase was released in 1950, starring James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd. Stewart reprised his role in the 1970 Broadway revival (alongside Helen Hayes) and again in the 1975 London revival (with Mona Washbourne), once again at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
Prior to its West End run, the play will tour the UK, including engagements in Birmingham, Malvern and Richmond.
James Dreyfus won an Olivier Award in 1998 for 'The Lady In The Dark' at the National Theatre. Other West End credits include 'The Producers' at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 'Donkeys' Years' at Comedy Theatre, 'Cabaret' at Lyric Theatre, 'The Common Pursuit' at Menier Chocolate Factory and 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' at Theatre Royal Haymarket. He is perhaps best known for his TV roles in 'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme' and 'The Thin Blue Line.'
Maureen Lipman won an Olivier Award in 1985 for 'See How They Run' at Comedy Theatre. Other West End credits include 'Daytona' at Theatre Royal Haymarket, 'When We Are Married' and 'A Little Night Music' at Garrick Theatre, 'Oklahoma!,' 'Macbeth,' 'Long Day’s Journey Into Night,' and 'School For Scandal' at National Theatre. Her many screen credits include 'The Pianist,' 'Educating Rita,' 'Discovering Heaven,' and 'Agony'.