British screen star Hugh Bonneville (pictured) will make his first stage appearance in seven years to star alongside Harriet Walter and Siobhan Redmond next month in the world premiere of Tamsin Oglesby's Anglo-American comedy of confused manners, US and Them. The production opens at the new Hampstead Theatre on 28 May 2003 and continues to 28 June (previews from 22 May).

In US and Them, the buffer zone between trust and suspicion proves fertile ground for a dissection of the "special relationship" between the US and the UK. A chance meeting in a Manhattan restaurant for English couple Martin and Charlotte with affluent New Yorkers Ed and Lori carries promise of a close friendship. But are they in fact speaking the same language?

Bonneville's previous theatre credits - for the RSC, National and Donmar amongst others - include The Devil's Disciple, My Night with Reg and Habeas Corpus. He last appeared in the 1996 Chichester Festival production of The Handyman. Bonneville is now best known for his many screen roles. On television, his recent credits include Philip Larkin: Love Again, Daniel Deronda, Tipping the Velvet, Dr Zhivago, The Gathering Storm and Armadillo; on film, Notting Hill, Mansfield Park and Iris, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA.

Harriet Walter many London stage credits include, most recently, Dinner, Much Ado About Nothing, The Royal Family and Life x 3, while on screen, she's been seen in Onegin, Sense and Sensibility, The Governess, Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Hard Times. Siobhan Redmond's recent stage credits include Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Liz Lochhead's Perfect Days. Her television credits include Holby City, Between the Lines and The High Life.

The three are joined in the cast of US and Them by Matthew Marsh's (A Buyer's Market, Copenhagen, The Little Foxes), Jemima Rooper (Where Do We Live, TV's As If) and Jonah Lotan. The play, a Hampstead Theatre commission, is directed by the theatre's associate director Jennie Darnell and designed by Matthew Wright with lighting by Jason Taylor, sound by Scott George for Aura, music by Joby Talbot.

Prior to US and Them, Hampstead will mount the European premiere of In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, the American author of last year's Donmar hit Jesus Hopped the A Train. Directed by Robert Delamere, it runs from 24 April to 17 May. The world premiere of Debbie Tucker Green's Born Bad, directed by actress Kathy Burke, runs concurrently with early evening performances form 29 April to 17 May 2003.

- by Terri Paddock