West brings Butley to West End

Published February 21, 2011

Dominic West is to return to the London stage in a revival of Simon Gray’s Butley at the Duchess theatre from 1 June (press night 6 June).

West will star in the title role alongside Penny Downie and Paul McGann in this dark comedy set in the English department of a London university.

Butley, premiered 40 years ago at the Criterion theatre, centres on a university lecturer whose life is taking a turn for the worse. His estranged wife has taken up with the most boring man in London, his beloved protégé has a new benefactor and even the English department’s resident failure has a book deal. Though Butley’s mischievous irony and penchant for troublemaking haven’t failed him yet, they might finally prove to be the weapons of his own tragic self-destruction.

West returns to the stage following Life Is A Dream at the Donmar Warehouse in 2009. Though best known for playing Jimmy McNulty in gritty US television drama The Wire, West has numerous stage credits including As You Like It at the Wyndham’s theatre, The Voysey Inheritance at the National Theatre and Rock ‘n’ Roll at the Duke of York’s theatre.

McGann and Downie previously acted alongside each other in Helen at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2009. Downie, a regular with the Royal Shakespeare Company, appeared in its 2008/09 production of Hamlet opposite David Tennant and Patrick Stewart. She also has credits including Dinner at the National Theatre and Scenes From A Marriage at the Wyndham’s theatre. McGann is best known for his screen work, most notably the film Withnail And I.

The trio will be directed by Lindsay Posner, whose work in the West End includes A View From The Bridge, Fiddler On The Roof and the current production of An Ideal Husband.

Butley plays at the Duchess theatre following Love Story, which ends its run on 26 February, and Sign Of The Times which plays from 7 March to 28 May.


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