The West Wing star – and former Whatsonstage.com Awards guest presenter! - Richard Schiff made his West End debut last night (12 February 2007, previews from 7 February) in Glen Berger’s acclaimed Off-Broadway play Underneath the Lintel (See News, 21 Nov 2006). The one-man play continues its limited season at the Duchess Theatre until 14 April.

Inspired by Yiddish music from the 1920s, Underneath the Lintel centres on a Danish librarian whose search for 113-year overdue book sets him on a life-changing quest. One clue builds upon another as this once-staid man embarks on a journey that spans the globe – the result of which carries mystical and spiritual implications.

Berger’s play has had several incarnations in the US since it premiered Off-Broadway in 2001. The production now in London was first seen at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in January 2006. It’s directed by Maria Mileaf and presented in the West End by Michael Edwards and Carole Winter with Paul Coxwell.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
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Richard Schiff is best known as White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler in the American TV series The West Wing, for which he won an Emmy Award. His film credits include the films Seven, City Hall, Malcolm X, Hoffa, Michael, Jurassic Park, Deep Impact, Dr Doolittle, Heaven and Forces of Nature. Schiff began his career as a theatre director in New York, founding the Manhattan Repertory Theatre. After becoming an actor and moving to Los Angeles, he joined Tim Robbins’ Actors Gang and appeared in productions including Goose, Tom Tom and Urban Folktales.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand with Richard Schiff for Underneath the Lintel curtain call at the Duchess Theatre and at the post-show party at Simpson's in the Strand, where other guests included author Glen Berger, director Maria Mileaf as well as Angus Deayton, Olivia Williams, Rhashan Stone, Louisa Clein, Helen Worth and Paula Wilcox.

- by Terri Paddock