Michael Gambon withdraws The Habit of Art due to minor ill health- Richard Griffiths takes over his role


Michael Gambon withdraws The Habit of Art due to minor ill health- Richard Griffiths takes over his role

Michael Gambon has withdrawn from Alan Bennett’s new play The Habit of Art, due to minor ill health for which he needs some time to rest. The role of W H Auden will now be taken by Richard Griffiths.

Nicholas Hytner says: ‘We’re all extremely sorry that Michael Gambon has had to withdraw from The Habit of Art but Alan Bennett and I couldn’t be more grateful to our old friend Richard Griffiths for agreeing to take on this considerable challenge at such short notice."

The Habit of Art opens at the Lyttelton, NT on 17 Nov 2009, following previews from 5 Nov - booking to 24 Jan 2010.

Richard Griffiths' London stage credits includes: "Equus" at the Gielgud in 2007; "The Histoy Boys" at the Lyttelton NT from 2004; "Heroes" at the Wyndham’s in 2005, "Luther" at the Olivier, NT in 2001.

Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the cast also features Alex Jennings (as Benjamin Britten), Frances de la Tour, Danny Burns, Martin Chamberlain, Philip Childs, John Heffernan, , Barbara Kirby, Elliot Levey, Adrian Scarborough, Stephen Wight

Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W H Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first for twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station. Alan Bennett’s new play is as much about the theatre as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately, on the habit of art.

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