Griff Rhys Jones & Reece Shearsmith to star in new Sean Foley productions

Griff Rhys Jone & Reece Shearsmith

Director Sean Foley who has recently enjoyed sell out success adapting and directing The Painkiller in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season of Plays at the Garrick will, starting this autumn, under producer Mark Goucher, direct two new productions in the West End.

First will be a revival of Ronald Harwood’s much loved play THE DRESSER. Starring Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith, the play tells the heart-breaking story of an ageing actor-manager and his long-suffering dresser as they struggle to keep the show on the road against the backdrop of a down-at-heel regional theatre in wartime. First performed in 1980 in the West End and on Broadway, the play was in 1983 made into a multi award-winning film starring Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. This new production of THE DRESSER will play at The Duke of York’s Theatre previewing from 5th October with a press night on Wednesday 12th October following performances in Richmond, Brighton and Cheltenham.

In early 2017, Griff Rhys Jones will return to the London stage to lead an ensemble cast in a revival of Molière’s classic play THE MISER which has been newly adapted by Sean Foley and Phil Porter. Best known for his television work, Rhys Jones is making his return to the London stage after five years where he is widely recognised as one of the country’s great comedic performers. THE MISER will be presented at Bath Theatre Royal and Richmond Theatre, prior to opening at the Garrick Theatre on Wednesday 1st March 2017, with an opening night on Monday 13th March 2017.

Sean Foley is an award-winning actor, writer and director. He co-founded The Right Size, creating over 10 original comedies for the theatre including the Olivier Award-winning and Tony-nominated production of The Play What I Wrote (Best Comedy 2002), Do You Come Here Often? (Best Entertainment 1999), and Ducktastic! (Albery Theatre – Best Entertainment nomination 2006). As director his work includes The PainkillerJeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Best New Comedy 2014), The Walworth Farce (The Olympia Theatre, Dublin), the multi Olivier-nominated The Ladykillers (Liverpool Everyman, Gielgud Theatre, UK Tour), A Mad World My Masters (Royal Shakespeare Company & Barbican), What The Butler Saw (Vaudeville Theatre), The Painkiller (The Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Arturo Brachetti – Change (Garrick – Best Entertainment nomination 2010) , The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Armstrong and Miller Show Live UK Tour and I Can’t Sing! (London Palladium). Foley’s first film Mindhorn will be released this autumn.

Mark Goucher has previously collaborated with Sean Foley on the hugely successful production of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense which played in the West End and on tour and is currently under option for a Broadway season.

The Dresser is to be co-produced with Mark Rubinstein Ltd and Jonathan Church Productions in the first production for Church’s new company after leaving Chichester Festival Theatre.

The Miser will be produced with long term producing partner Mark Rubinstein Ltd.

Reece Shearsmith’s theatre credits include Absent Friends (Harold Pinter), Betty Blue Eyes (Novello — for which he was nominated for an Olivier award for Best Actor In A Musical), Ghost Stories (Duke of York’s), Comedians (Lyric Hammersmith), The Common Pursuit (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Producers (Theatre Royal), As You Like It (Wyndams), Art (Whitehall) and A Local Show for Local People (Tour).

Reece’s television credits include two series of Inside Number 9The Widower, Stag, Hunderby, Galavant, Doctor Who, Mid-Morning Matters with Alan PartridgeChasing Shadows, An Adventure in Space and TimeThe Hollow Crown – Henry IV Part 2Bad SugarPsychovilleEric & ErnieChekhov Shorts – ‘The Bear’The First Men in the MoonComing UpNew TricksChristmas at the RivieraLadies and GentlemenMarple: Ordeal by InnocenceThe AbbeyMax & Paddy’s Road to NowhereCatterickTicThe League of GentlemenRandall & Hopkirk Deceased and Spaced.

Film credits include High RiseA Field in EnglandThe World’s EndBurke & HareThe CottageThe League of Gentlemen’s ApocalypseShaun of the Dead and Birthday Girl.

Awards include Royal Television Society Award for Comedy Performance (Inside Number 9), British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Drama (Psychoville), British Comedy Award for Best New TV Comedy (Psychoville), South Bank Show Award for Best Comedy (The League of Gentlemen), NME Award for Best Television Programme (The League of Gentlemen), BAFTA Award for Best Comedy (The League of Gentlemen), Golden Rose of Montreux (The League of Gentlemen), RTS Award for Best Entertainment (The League of Gentlemen), Perrier Award (The League of Gentlemen) and Sony Silver Award (On the Town with The League of Gentlemen).

Ken Stott has received four Best Actor Olivier Award Nominations for his work at the National Theatre and the West End in The Recruiting Officer, Broken Glass (for which he won Best Actor in a Supporting Role), Art with Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay and A View from the Bridge. Ken has also appeared at the National Theatre and West End in plays such as The Princes Play, Three Men on a Horse, The Tempest, Heroes, The Winter’s Tale, God of Carnage and Uncle Vanya.

Ken’s work in Film and Television is vast and varied. His Film credits include the Oscar Nominated Tolkien trilogy The Hobbit directed by Peter Jackson, James Marsh’s next feature The Knot in which he stars alongside Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz and David Thewlis, Independent Feature A Hundred Streets alongside Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton and Big Talk comedy Feature Man Up directed by Ben Palmer with Simon Pegg, Harriet Walter and Rory Kinnear. Ken is also known for his performances in Mike Nichols’ Feature for Universal – Charlie Wilson’s War alongside Tom Hanks and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Chronicles Of Narnia, The Boxer, Shallow Grave, The Debt Collector and Plunkett And Maclean to name but a few.

Ken’s Television credits range from Sky Atlantic’s British crime thriller Fortitude, the new one-off BBC TV adaptation of JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls directed by Aisling Walsh, the Tom Shankland directed BBC Series The Missing for which Ken received a BAFTA nomination, Martina Cole East End underworld adaptation The Runaway for Sky, BBC Films’ Toast alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Freddie Highmore and Victoria Hamilton, his BAFTA winning performance in the BBC’s biographical Hancock & Joan which he starred in alongside Maxine Peake, his series lead role in Ian Rankin penned Scottish crime drama Rebus, his lead role in multiple mini-series’ of BBC’s Messiah and his BAFTA nominated performance as lead character DI Pat Chappel in ITV police drama The Vice.

Griff Rhys Jones is a two-time Olivier award-winning actor, writer, presenter and comedian. On stage, Griff has appeared as Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver! (West End), the title role in Charley’s Aunt (West End) and in Feydeau’s An Absolute Turkey (The Globe).

In a long-lasting comedy partnership with Mel Smith, Griff’s television credits include Not the Nine O’Clock News (BBC), Alas Smith and Jones (BBC), The World According to Smith and Jones (ITV), Smith and Jones in Small Doses (BBC) and Smith and Jones (BBC). The duo’s films include Morons From Outer Space and Wilt.

In addition to his work with Smith, Jones has also appeared on television in Porterhouse Blue(Channel 4), Mine All Mine (ITV) and Riot at the Rite (BBC) and It’ll Be Alright on the Night (ITV). His films include StaggeredUp ‘n’ Under and Puckoon. 

Ronald Harwood’s many plays include The Dresser, Taking Sides, Quartet, Mahler’s Conversion, An English Tragedy and Collaboration and Degenerate Art which premiered in Berlin in October 2015.

His films include The Dresser (Academy Award Nomination for Best Screenplay), Taking Sides (XXIX Flaiano Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay), The Pianist (Palme d’Or, 2002 Cannes Film Festival and 2003 BAFTA for Best Film), Being Julia Oliver Twist, and most recently The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (winner of the 2008 BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay, Academy Award Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and Humanitas Prize 2008, Writers’ Guild Award for Best Screenplay, Prix Jacques Prevert du Scenario 2008), and Love in the Time of Cholera. His latest film, Quartet, released on 1st January 2013, is adapted from his play and is directed by Dustin Hoffman, and a TV film of his play The Dresser adapted and directed by Richard Eyre, screened on BBC1 in October 2015

Ronald Harwood’s awards for The Pianist include the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay 2003, the National Society of Film Critics’ Award for Best Screenplay and the Founders’ Award from the Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking. He was also nominated for a BAFTA (Best Adapted Screenplay) and a César (Best Screenplay).

He was made Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1974 and was Visitor in Theatre at Balliol College, Oxford in 1985. He was President of English PEN, 1989-1993, President of International PEN, 1993-97, and Chairman of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1996 he was appointed Chevalier de l’ordre National des Arts et des Lettres. In 1999, he was appointed a CBE. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Keele University in 2002 and Aberdeen University in 2013. He is President of the Royal Literary Fund 2005-present. He was made an Honorary Fellow of Central School of Speech and Drama in 2006.  He was knighted for Services to Drama in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday honours list.  He received the National Jewish Theatre Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014.



Richmond Theatre: 8th – 17th September
Brighton Theatre Royal: 20th – 24th September
Everyman Theatre Cheltenham: 27th September – 1st October

Duke of York’s Theatre

5th October 2016 – 14th January 2017

From £25, with £10 off all price bands during preview performances

0844 871 7623


Bath Theatre Royal: 8th – 18th February
Richmond Theatre: 21st – 25th September

Garrick Theatre

1st March – 10th June 2017

From £25, with £10 off all price bands during preview performances

0330 333 4811

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