Cast announced for the UK Tour of Alan Bennett’s THE HABIT OF ART

Matthew Kelly as Fitz (W. H. Auden) and David Yelland as Henry (Benjamin Britten) will star in Alan Bennett’s THE HABIT OF ART directed by Philip Franks.

Veronica Roberts will be joining the cast in the role of Kay, the Stage Manager. 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, John Wark will play Donald (Humphrey Carpenter), Alexandra Guelff plays the role of George, the Assistant Stage Manager and Benjamin Chandler has been cast as Tim (Stuart).

THE HABIT OF ART explores friendship, rivalry and heartache, the joy, pain and emotional cost of creativity. It is centered 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.

30 August – 8 September Theatre Royal York
11-15 September Theatre Royal Brighton
17-22 September Salisbury Playhouse
24-29 September Oxford Playhouse
3-6 October Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
8-13 October New Wolsey, Ipswich
15-20 October Richmond Theatre
23-27 October Liverpool Playhouse
29 October – 3 November Cambridge Arts Theatre
6-10 November Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
12-17 November The Lowry, Salford
19-24 November Palace Theatre, Southend
27 November – 1 December Malvern Theatres


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