Laurence Fox and Tom Conti will star in the world premiere production of Jonathan Lynn’s play The Patriotic Traitor when it opens at London’s Park Theatre next February.
Lewis star Fox will play Charles De Gaulle in the play about two friends who end up on the opposite sides of World War II, with Olivier Award winner and Oscar nominee Tom Conti as Philippe Pétain.
While Pétain rose through the ranks to save France at the Battle of Verdun in 1916, when he became a Nazi collaborator it was De Gaulle who led France to freedom. When De Gaulle had his friend tried for treason in 1945, was it all as simple as it seemed?
Speaking about the project, playwright Lynn, who will also direct the show, said: “To keep the people safe is surely the most fundamental duty of every political leader. Few people are given the opportunity to save their country. This awful responsibility fell to two giants, Philippe Pétain and Charles De Gaulle – twice to Pétain. This is a story of love and betrayal, and their triumph and tragedy has fascinated me for many years. I hope it fascinates you. I am fortunate to have Tom Conti and Laurence Fox to bring these two great men and monstrous egotists to life.”
The Patriotic Traitor plays at the Park Theatre from 17 February to 19 March, following the UK premiere of Peter Quilter’s amnesia drama 4000 Days.
The story of Michael, who wakes from a coma to find he has forgotten four thousand days of his memory including the existence of his partner Paul, has also announced casting. Joining the previously announced Alistair McGowan, who plays Michael, are Daniel Weyman (Foyle’s War, Great Expectations) as Paul and Maggie Ollerenshaw (Coronation Street) as Michael’s mother Carol, who tries to remove Paul from their lives.