Rumours can now be laid to rest surrounding the casting of Yasmina Reza's new play The Unexpected Man. As expected, Michael Gambon has confirmed for the male lead; Eileen Atkins, rather than Helen Mirren as rumoured, will play opposite him. The play receives its British premiere in this Royal Shakespeare Company production which will open on 15 April 1998 (previews from 8 April) at the Barbican's Pit. The Unexpected Man reunites the creative team of smash West End comedy Art - playwright Reza, director Matthew Warchus, translator Christopher Hampton and designer Mark Thompson. The two-hander tells the story of middle-aged novelist Paul and his life-long fan Martha who meet on a train journey from Paris to Frankfurt. Gambon appeared in the West End last year in Tom and Clem; Atkins is currently starring opposite Dame Maggie Smith in Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance.