The Chichester Festival Theatre production of Simon Gray's The Last Cigarette - which stars Felicity Kendal, Nicholas Le Prevost and Jasper Britton - has posted closing notices at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios 1, less than a month after opening to strong reviews (See 1st Night Photos, 29 Apr 2009).

The Last Cigarette premiered in March in Chichester, before transferring to Trafalgar Studios, where it opened on 28 April 2009 (previews from 21 April) and had been booking until 1 August 2009. It will now finish on 23 May.

Written by the Hugh Whitemore in collaboration with Gray shortly before his death last summer, The Last Cigarette is adapted from Gray's final volume of The Smoking Diaries, which give voice to his memoirs and thoughts as he is “forced to look his own mortality in the eye”. Kendal, Le Prevost and Britton all portray the playwright through the course of the play.

The author of more than 30 plays including Quartermaine’s Terms, Otherwise Engaged and Butley, lifelong smoker Gray passed away on 6 August 2008 after a battle with cancer (See News, 8 Aug 2008). The premiere production of The Last Cigarette is directed by former National Theatre artistic director Richard Eyre and designed by Rob Howell, with music by George Fenton.

No further productions have yet been announced for Trafalgar Studios 1.

- by Terri Paddock