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Cast update for Gore Vidal’s The Best Man

Martin Shaw is William Russell, esteemed ex-Secretary of State and a US presidential candidate with a philandering reputation.

Jeff Fahey is Joseph Cantwell, an ambitious populist newcomer, opposing Russell for the party nomination.

Neck and neck, the only thing that separates the candidates are the endorsements from a respected Ex-President (Jack Shepherd) and party big-wig (Gemma Jones). As the race heats up the campaigns gets personal, involving Russell’s estranged wife Alice (Glynis Barber) and Cantwell’s wife Mabel (Honeysuckle Weeks) and drawing on all the resources of Russell’s campaign manager (Anthony Howell). But where does compromise end and corruption begin? How far will they go to be the most powerful man in the world and who in the end will be proven to be “the best man”?

Jeff Fahey has starred in many indie classics including the title role in cult sci-fi hit The Lawnmower Man opposite Pierce Brosnan and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse and has rarely been off our TV screens, starring in US series The Marshal and most recently in Lost. He returns to the stage following his acclaimed performance in Twelve Angry Men alongside Martin Shaw. BAFTA award-winning Gemma Jones, is one of our most distinguished actresses, best known for her roles in The Duchess of Duke Street, Spooks, the Harry Potter films and as Bridget’s mum in the Bridget Jones’s Diary films. Star of TV’s Wycliffe and Bill Brand, Jack Shepherd’s extensive stage career includes his award-winning performance in Glengarry Glen Ross and The Iceman Cometh (National Theatre). Glynis Barber is best known for Dempsey and Makepeace and her popular roles in Night and Day and EastEnders.
Honeysuckle Weeks and Anthony Howell co-starred alongside Michael Kitchen as Samantha Stewart and Paul Milner in hit TV drama Foyle’s War. Leading the cast is Martin Shaw, best known for his TV roles in Judge John Deed, Inspector George Gently and The Professionals.

Born into a distinguished political family, Gore Vidal was a prolific writer known for the waspish wit, which peppered his essays, novels, screenplays and Broadway plays. Among his most famous works are Myra Breckinridge and Lincoln. The Best Man premiered on Broadway in 1960 and was nominated for six Tony Awards, including ‘Best Play’. Vidal adapted it into a film with the same title in 1964 starring Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson and Lee Tracy, who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the crafty ex-President. The play received a major revival on Broadway in 2012 starring James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury, and earned two Tony award nominations including ‘Best Revival of a Play’.

Further casting includes: Emma Campbell-Jones, Jim Creighton, Simon Hepworth, Ian Houghton, Craig Pinder, David Tarkenter, Alice Offley and Samuel Donnelly.

The Best Man is directed by Simon Evans, with set and costume design by Michael Taylor, lighting design by Chris Davey and composition and sound design by Ed Lewis. Presented by Bill Kenwright, the play will open at the Theatre Royal Windsor on Tuesday 12 September followed by Theatre Royal Brighton, Richmond Theatre, Theatre Royal Bath, Cambridge Arts Theatre, and Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre, prior to the West End.

The Best Man will visit Richmond Theatre as part of its UK tour from Monday 2nd – Saturday 7th October prior to a West End run.

The Best Man, Monday 2nd – Saturday 7th October
Richmond Theatre

Written By Gore Vidal
Directed By Simon Evans

Playhouse Theatre
24 February – 12 May 2018
Press Night: Monday 5 March 2018 – 7pm
Monday – Saturday evening: 7.45pm
Thursday and Saturday matinee: 3pm
The Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Ave, London, WC2N 5DE


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