"The Old Masters" by Simon Gray at the Comedy Theatre from 26 June

"The Old Masters" by Simon Gray at the Comedy Theatre from 26 June

The Old Masters a new play by Simon Gray, opens at the Comedy Theatre 1 July 2004, following previews from 26 June and booking to 13 Nov 2004.

Tickets are now on sale!!

This production, which is currently playing at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, is directed by Harold Pinter and features Edward Fox , Peter Bowles, Barbara Jefford, Sally Dexter, Steven Pacey.

It is designed by Eileen Diss, lighting by Mick Hughes, with costumes by Dany Everett.

1937, a perfect summer´s day. In the magnificent gardens of his opulent Villa overlooking Florence, Bernard Berenson, the renowned Art critic, connoisseur, writer, and collector, is taking his ease discussing art and world affairs with his wife, Mary, and with Nicky, his mistress.

Meanwhile, unknown to Berenson, in a hotel in Florence, multimillionaire Joseph Duveen, the world´s most pre-eminent art dealer, is preparing to visit him late that night. He has with him a priceless Renaissance painting for Berenson to examine - though he knows that this may shatter their 30 year-old - and highly secret - business arrangement.

Midnight in a library in Mussolini´s Italy. Two Jewish intellectuals with the storm gathering around them. Men who virtually invented the international art market - And an enigmatic masterpiece at the heart of the matter: how much does the true value of a work of art depend on its attribution? What happens when that attribution is open to doubt?

Simon Gray´s new play lays open the fascinating world of the market in fine art, exploring issues of true value, of provenance, and of forgery and fraud artistic and personal, via the real life relationship between Duveen and Berenson.

Edward Fox's West End credits include "The Chiltern Hundreds" at the Vaudeville in 1999, "A Letter of Resignation" at the Comedy in 1997 and Savoy in 1998. His most famous TV role was as the Duke of Windsor in 1978 TV series "Edward and Mrs Simpson".

Peter Bowles' West End credits include "Wait Until Dark" at the Garrick in 2003; "Sleuth" at the Apollo in 2002; "The Beau" and "The Royal Family" at the Haymarket in 2001; "Major Barbara" & "The Misanthrope" at the Piccadilly in 1998; "School For Wives" at the Piccadilly & Comedy in 1997; "Present Laughter" at the Aldwych & Wyndham's in 1996; "In Praise of Love" at the Apollo in 1995. His TV credits include 'Lytton's Diary' which he devised, 'The Irish R.M.'and 'To the Manor Born'.

Sally Dexter's London stage credits include: "The Maths Tutor" at the Hampstead in 2003; "Macbeth" at the Queens Theatre in 1999; "Closer" at the Cottesloe, NT in 1997. "Oliver" at the London Palladium in 1994.

Steven Pacey's West End credits include "Democracy" at the Cottesloe, NT in 2003 & Lyttelton, NT 2004; "The Constant Wife" at the Apollo & Lyric in 2002; "The Birthday Party" at the Piccadilly in 1999; " Things We Do For Love" at the Gielgud in 1998; "By Jeeves" at the Duke of York's & Lyric in 1996.

Barbara Jefford's London stage credits include: "Power" at the Cottesloe, NT in 2003; "Sanctuary" at the Loft, NT in 2002; "Britannicus" & "Phedre" at the Albery in 1998.

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