La Bete by David Hirson at Comedy Theatre from 26 June 2010 with Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce Joanna Lumley

Tickets are now on sale for the comedy La Bete, by David Hirson, which opens at the Comedy Theatre 7 July 2010, following previews from 26 June - running to 28 Aug 2010. The production will then immediately transfer to Broadway.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, the cast includes Mark Rylance (Valere), David Hyde Pierce (Elomire), Joanna Lumley (Princess Conti). Further casting will be announced soon.

It is designed by Mark Thompson, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker, and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions & Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Robert Bartner and Roy Furman.

Concerns Elomire, a high-minded classical dramatist who loves only the theatre, and Valere, a low-brow street clown who loves only himself. When the fickle princess decides she’s grown weary of Elomire’s royal theatre troupe, he and Valere are left fighting for survival as art squares off with ego in a literary showdown for the ages.

Mark Rylance's is currently starring in Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre to 24 April. He previously starred in Jerusalem at the Royal Court last year. His other London stage credits include "Endgame" at the Duchess Theatre in 2009, "Boeing Boeing" at the Comedy in 2007; "Life x3" at the Old Vic in 2001; "True West" at the Donmar in 1994; and many productions for Shakespeare's Globe theatre, when he was Artistic Director (1995 - 2005).

David Hyde Pierce, best known asNiles Crane in the USA sitcom Frasier, will be making his West End stage debut.

Joanna Lumley is best known for playing Patsy Stone in TV's "Absolutely Fabulous". Previously her TV appearances included Purdy in "The New Avengers" in the late 1970s as well as "Sapphire and Steel" in the late 70s early 80s. Her stage work in the UK includes Madame Ranevsky in "The Cherry Orchard" for Sheffield Theatres, as Gertrude Lawrence in "Noel and Gertie" for the King’s Head, Elvira in "Blithe Spirit" at the Vaudeville Theatre, as well as roles in "The Letter" for the Lyric Hammersmith.

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