Simon Callow to direct new production of The Philanthropist at Trafalgar Studios

All-star comedy cast revive Hampton's play.

The Philanthropist

It has been announced that Simon Callow will direct a new production of Christopher Hampton’s The Philanthropist which will run at the Trafalgar Studios from 3 April to 22 July, with an official opening on 20 April 2017.

The Philanthropist will star Matt Berry, Simon Bird, Lily Cole, Charlotte Ritchie and Tom Rosenthal, some of today’s best young comedic actors playing the roles at the age Hampton first intended.

"Set in a fictitious English University town, strongly evoking Oxford or Cambridge, the play follows 24 hours in the lives of a group of young academics. The action unfolds in the rooms of Philip (Simon Bird), the university’s cosseted and floundering professor of philology, for whom solace and certitude exist in complex wordplay. Out in the ‘real world’ the Prime Minister and his cabinet have been assassinated and England's most treasured writers are being murdered one by one! Back in the cosy bubble of university life, the bachelor don anguishes over sex, marriage, anagrams and the meaning of life. Did someone suggest academics were ‘out of touch’?"

First seen at The Royal Court Theatre in 1970, it was written as a response to Moliere’s The Misanthrope and was described as a 'biting bourgeois comedy'.

Christopher Hampton’s other works for the stage include Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Treats as well as translations of Florian Zeller’s The Father, The Mother and The Truth.

Matt Berry is best known for his roles in comedy hits 'The IT Crowd', 'The Mighty Boosh' (BBC3), and as star and writer of sitcom 'Toast of London' (Channel 4).

Simon Bird is best known for the BAFTA winning 'The Inbetweeners' (E4) which ran for three series, and its two globally successful movies as well as 'Friday Night Dinner' (Channel 4).

Lily Cole's credits include 'St Trinians', 'Ab Fab: The Movie', and 'Snow White and The Huntsman'.

Tom Rosenthal's credits include 'Friday Night Dinner' (Channel 4), 'Plebs' (ITV2), and 'Broadchurch' (ITV). His stage work includes Chicken Soup with Barley at The Royal Court.

This new revival is produced in the West End by Howard Panter for Trafalgar Entertainment Group, Simon Friend and Gavin Kalin.

The Philanthropist tickets are now on sale.

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