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Stephen Fry. Photo by Dan Wooller

Stephen Fry. Photo by Dan Wooller

Stephen Fry to star in The Understudy in the West End this December

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 5 November 2020, Last Updated 9 November 2020

Stephen Fry, Mina Anwar, and James Norton will star in a semi-staged, rehearsed reading of The Understudy this December at the Palace Theatre.

Based on the novel of the same name by David Nicholls. the writer of Us and Starter For Ten, Henry Filloux-Bennet’s play will tell a comedic tale of ambition, love and jealousy all based in the West End!

Rebecca McKinnis and Mina Anwar in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Photo by Alastair MuirRebecca McKinnis and Mina Anwar in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Photo by Alastair Muir

The Understudy was created as an animated play online in May to raise vital funds for the UK’s theatre industry, and this new production will once again raise money – splitting proceeds between Acting For Others, the Equity Charitable Trust and The Theatre Development Fund.

Further casting includes James Norton, Mina Anwar, Natalie Casey, Sasha Frost, Marie Lawrence, James McNicholas and Lizzie Muncey, with more to be announced.

Running for two nights only over 7 and 8 December, this stellar cast would make the perfect pre-Christmas treat!

Malachi Kirby (Alioune) and James Norton (Zack) in rehearsals for Belleville at the Donmar Warehouse (Photo: Marc Brenner)Malachi Kirby and James Norton in rehearsals for Belleville at the Donmar Warehouse. Photo by Marc Brenner

Giles Croft, Director of The Understudy, said:

Over the past seven months I have watched as theatres, theatre companies and artists have struggled to manage the impact of COVID-19. I have been impressed by their resilience and ingenuity and saddened by the heartache and the loss. Having been through the ‘Zoom revolution’ we are now entering, tentatively, the era of the socially distanced audience and bubbled actors, which I have no doubt will lead to great creativity and inventiveness, but things will not be the same as they were.

“Success will depend as much on creating confidence that theatres (permanent or pop up) are safe places to spend time, as much as on the work produced. Having experienced my first visit to a socially-distanced show last week, I am confident that it will happen and very excited that this excellent project, born out of lockdown, is going to play a part in bringing live theatre back to UK stages.”


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