The Original Theatre Company, York Theatre Royal, and Ghost Light Productions are bringing The Habit Of Art to tour the UK with Matthew Kelly cast as Fitz (W. H. Auden).
Directed by Philip Franks, starring alongside Matthew Kelly will be David Yelland as Henry (Benjamin Britten). Veronica Roberts will take the role of Kay, the Stage Manager. Her recent theatre credits include Mrs Gascoyne in The Daughter-in-Law (Arcola), Joy Bray in 49 Donkeys Hanged (Plymouth), and Marina in Uncle Vanya (Theatr Clwyd/Sheffield Crucible). She is perhaps best known for playing Dorothy Bennett in the BBC drama Tenko and Laura Elliot in ITV’s Peak Practice.
Robert Mountford plays the Author, Neil. His one man show Vagabonds – My Phil Lynott Odyssey has recently played in Edinburgh, London and Dublin, and he has just finished House and Garden at the Watermill Theatre and Anita and Me for Birmingham Rep. Robert has also toured extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The play explores friendship, rivalry and heartache, the joy, pain and emotional cost of creativity. It is centred on a fictional meeting between poet W. H. Auden and composer Benjamin Britten.
Bennett wrote it as a play-within-a-play – actors Fitz, Henry, Tim and Donald are rehearsing a play called Caliban’s Day under the direction of stage manager, Kay, and in the presence of the playwright, Neil. In Caliban’s Day, a fictitious meeting occurs in 1973 in Auden’s (Fitz) rooms at Oxford not long before he dies. Britten (Henry) has been auditioning boys nearby for his opera Death in Venice, and arrives unexpectedly – their first meeting in 25 years after falling out over the failure of their opera Paul Bunyan.
The Habit of Art premiered at the National Theatre in November 2009, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Richard Griffiths, Alex Jennings and Frances de la Tour. The National then toured the production in Autumn 2010 with a new cast led by Desmond Barrit, Malcolm Sinclair and Selina Cadell.
For more information visit www.originaltheatre.com
2018 TOUR SCHEDULE
30 August – 8 September Theatre Royal York 01904 623568
11-15 September Theatre Royal Brighton 0844 871 7650
17-22 September Salisbury Playhouse 01722 320 333
24-29 September Oxford Playhouse 01865 305 300
www.oxfordplayhouse.com On sale soon
3-6 October Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford 01483 44 00 00
www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk On sale soon
8-13 October New Wolsey, Ipswich 01473 295900
15-20 October Richmond Theatre 0844 871 7651
23-27 October Liverpool Playhouse 0151 709 4776
29 October – 3 November Cambridge Arts Theatre 01223 503333
www.cambridgeartstheatre.com On sale soon
6-10 November Belgrade Theatre, Coventry 024 7655 3055
12-17 November The Lowry, Salford 0843 208 6000
19-24 November Palace Theatre, Southend 01702 351135
27 November – 1 December Malvern Theatres 01684 892277