Lucy Punch will lead the cast of Great Britain when the hit National Theatre production transfers to the West End next month.
The Bad Teacher star replaces Billie Piper as ambitious young news editor Paige Britain and is joined in the cast by Ben Mansfield, who takes over from Oliver Chris as Assistant Police Commissioner Donald Doyle Davidson.
Richard Bean’s foul-mouthed satire about the press, police and political establishment opened at the National Theatre in June, just days after the production was announced. It will transfer to the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 9 September to 10 January.
Punch, whose previous theatre credits include Boy Gets Girl at the Royal Court and The Graduate in the West End, and Mansfield, last seen on the West End stage in Relative Values and One Man, Two Guvnors, are the only new members of the company.
They are joined by original NT cast members Sarah Annis, Ross Boatman, Robert Calvert, William Chubb, Dermot Crowley, Jo Dockery, Robert Glenister, Ian Hallard, James Harkness, Scott Karim, Barbara Kirby, Nicholas Lumley, Maggie McCarthy, Iain Mitchell, Miles Mitchell, Aaron Neil, Lucy Punch, Nick Sampson, Kellie Shirley, Kiruna Stamell, Harriet Thorpe, Rupert Vansittart, Joseph Wilkins and Andrew Woodall.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, Great Britain focuses on the questionable goings-on at The Free Press, a tabloid newspaper locked in a never-ending battle for more readers. When it opened at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre, the play was described by the Evening Standard’s Henry Hitchings as “barbed, dense and very funny”.
The production will open at the Theatre Royal Haymarket following the run of another West End transfer, Daytona starring Maureen Lipman, which closes on 23 August.