The stars are out in force for a new production of comic drama The Starry Messenger, including Hollywood and Tony Award-winning actor Matthew Broderick in his West End debut, alongside Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern.

Written by Kenneth Lonergan, the Academy Award-winning writer of Manchester By The Sea, The Starry Messenger is a bittersweet story of love, hope and finding our place in the universe.

The show centres on Mark Williams (Broderick), an astronomer at New York City’s Planetarium, whose life is spiralling downwards. With his marriage under pressure, his job under threat, and his thoughts consumed with grief, Mark’s head is lost to the celestial universe.

But although Mark doesn’t believe in faith or divine intervention, the universe has other ideas. And when Angela, a young single mother, unexpectedly enters Mark’s life, he finds himself set on an uplifting new path. But along the way, he’ll be forced to re-evaluate his life, his faith – and his place amongst the stars.

This new production of The Starry Messenger sees Broderick reprise his role from the 2009 Off-Broadway run of the show. He is well-known to audiences for his stage and screen roles in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Mel Brooks’ The Producers, as well as in hit 80s film WarGames, and as the voice of adult Simba in Disney’s The Lion King. He is also a two-time Tony Award winner, and remains the youngest winner of the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play to date.

McGovern, meanwhile, is known to audiences of millions for her stage and screen roles, which include playing Lady Cora in the multi award-winning series Downton Abbey, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy award. She also fronts and writes the songs for her band Sadie And The Hotheads. Further casting is to be announced.

An unblinking exploration of hopes and dreams, The Starry Messenger poses the question: in the vastness of the universe, are we all just lonely souls under the same night sky?

Please note that there will be a free post-show Q&A on 18 June with Matthew Broderick and Elizabeth McGovern.

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