Richard Nelson’s new play Farewell To The Theatre opened at the Hampstead Theatre last night (7 March 2012, previews from 1 March) marking Ben Chaplin's first London stage appearance since the National Theatre's 2007 production of The Reporter.

He is joined in the company by Tara Fitzgerald and Jemma Redgrave for Roger Michell's production which finds early twentieth century producer Harley Granville-Barker embittered and world-weary in Massachusetts in 1916.

With war raging in Europe, he has fallen in with a group of British expatriates endeavouring to find their way in an academic, theatre obsessed community. Internecine intrigue, lust and betrayal permeates this witty and absorbing study of human nature, as Granville-Barker gradually rediscovers his love of the art of theatre and his faith in its centrality to a life well lived.

The cast and crew were joined to celebrate their opening night by guests including Fiona Bruce, Sally Greene, Michael Frayn, Greta Scacchi, Michael Blakemore, Kate Fahy, Martin Sherman, Anna Maxwell Martin, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Laurie Slade, Amy Rosenthal, Jane Howe, Richard Durden, Bill Paterson, Tim McInnerny, Richard Clothier, Michael Elwyn, Alison Steadman, Tania Black, Elliot Levey, Roy Marsden, Sara Kestelman and Sam Alexander.

The production continues its limited season at the Hampstead Theatre until 7 April 2012.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF FAREWELL TO THE THEATRE's 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.