Jemma Redgrave, grieving last week’s death of her actor-father Corin Redgrave, has withdrawn from the upcoming premiere of A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky at west London’s Lyric Hammersmith due to “personal circumstances”. She is replaced in the cast – which also features Ann Mitchell (Olivier and Evening Standard nominated for Through the Leaves) – by Tanya Moodie.

The epic new play - penned by three leading playwrights (and close friends), David Eldridge, Simon Stephens and Robert Holman – runs from 12 May to 5 June 2010 (previews from 7 May) and is directed by Lyric artistic director Sean Holmes.

As the universe begins to crumble a mother gathers her sons on their family farm in the North East of England, where they prepare to face the unknown. Will a lifetime’s worth of closely guarded secrets finally be revealed and will lost love once again be found before time itself comes to an end?

Also in the cast are: Kirsty Bushell, Nigel Cooke, Lisa Diveney, Harry McEntire, Tom Mothersdale, Pearce Quigley, Andrew Sheridan, Rupert Simonian and Alan Williams.

All three authors are accomplished dramatists in their own right. Eldridge has won Best New Play Award in the Whatsonstage.com Awards twice, for Festen and Under the Blue Sky, which his other plays include Market Boy, Summer Begins and Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness. Stephens won the 2006 Olivier for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World and his many other credits include Punk Rock (premiered at the Lyric last year), Motortown and Pornography.

And veteran Robert Holman, writing since the 1970s and former resident dramatist at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National, counts amongst his long list of credits Bad Weather, Holes in the Skin, Across Oka and the Making Noise Quietly trilogy.