Musical star Lara Pulver (pictured, left) – who was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical this year in both the Laurence Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Awards for Parade at the Donmar Warehouse – will make her London play debut next month in the Off-Broadway hit comedy Beau Jest, which receives its UK premiere in a limited season from 8 May to 1 June 2008 (preview 7 May) at east London’s Hackney Empire.

Young school teacher Sarah Goldman (Pulver) wants to please her Jewish parents so she hides her real gentile boyfriend and invents a relationship with a good Jewish boy she believes will be the man of her mother's dreams. When her parents insist on meeting the man, Sarah hires Bob, an actor, to pretend to be her "beau" – a plan that works, for awhile.

In addition to Parade, Pulver’s other musical credits include Into the Woods, The Last Five Years, Honk!, Miss Saigon, High Society, A Chorus Line, The Boy Friend and Gypsy.

Pulver is joined in the Beau Jest cast by Adam Rayner (Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet for the RSC, TV’s Mistresses and The Line of Beauty), Sue Kelvin (Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, Sophie Tucker’s One Night Stand, Sit and Shiver), Alexander Giles, Jack Chissick and Alex Hardy.

James Sherman’s play premiered in 1991 at Off-Broadway’s Lamb’s Theatre where it ran for three years. The new UK production is directed by Susie McKenna and designed by Becs Andrews, with ighting by Paul Gavin.

- by Terri Paddock