Bowles Brings Hutchinson's Beau to HaymarketDate: 1 May 2001
Rat in the Skull author Ron Hutchinson's new play arrives in the West End later this month following a regional tour. The Beau, previously billed as Beau Brummel while touring, stars Peter Bowles and opens at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 24 May 2001.
Brummel was a real-life personality, a wit and dandy credited with civilising society at the turn of the 18th century. Hutchinson's play, described as "a Regency version of The Dresser", concerns the waning years of Brummel's life and his relationship with his valet, Austin.
Once the epitome of elegance, the man who taught a generation of Englishmen how to dress has been booted out of the country for calling the Prince Regent fat and losing his fortune (several times over) at cards. He's now holed up in a convent in Calais, shabbily dressed and apparently mad, with only Austin as a witness. And still he seems more interested in cuffs, collars and creases than in matters of life and death.
Bowles, who plays Brummel, is a stage veteran whose many credits include Sleuth, Hedda Gabler, The Entertainer and, for the Peter Hall repertory company, Separate Tables, School for Wives and Major Barbara. He's familiar to television audiences through his roles in To the Manor Born, Only When I Laugh and Perfect Scoundrels.
Richard McCabe, who plays Austin, performs regularly at the National and the RSC, where he's an associate artist. His other recent stage credits include the title role in Birmingham Rep's acclaimed production of Hamlet. His film and TV appearances include Notting Hill, Persuasion, Trial and Retribution and The Vice.
The Beau is a Theatre Royal Bath production, directed by Caroline Hunt and designed by Ashley Martin-Davis with lighting by Paul Pyant.
- by Terri Paddock