First Performance 07/12/2009
Closing 13/03/2010

Martin Crimp’s new version of Moliere’s classic comedy The Misanthrope transports the action from 17th century Paris to modern-day London.

Alceste is a famous British playwright disillusioned and angry with the hypocrisy, shallowness and vanity of the contemporary world. Vowing to reject society, Alceste’s plans are derailed when he falls madly in love with Jennifer. An ambitious American film star and darling of the social scene, she may prove to be his biggest challenge yet.

The Misanthrope is led by two of the UK’s best known actors, Damian Lewis as Alceste and Keira Knightley as Jennifer. Lewis made his name in Steven Spielberg’s Band Of Brothers and has numerous stage and screen credits to his name, including appearances at the National Theatre in Pillars Of The Community and Five Gold Rings. Knightley, however, makes her West End stage debut in this production, having concentrated to date on her screen career which includes the films The Duchess, Love Actually, Bend It Like Beckham, Atonement and The Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy.

The cast also includes Tara Fitzgerald, who was most recently seen in the Donmar Warehouse production of A Doll’s House, plus London stage regulars Dominic Rowan and Tim McMullan who both appeared in director Thea Sharrock’s production of As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe in summer 2009.

Martin Crimp, who has adapted The Misanthrope, has written plays including The City, Fewer Emergencies, Attempts On Her Life and The Treatment.

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