Cheers and Natural Born Killers star Woody Harrelson and Twin Peaks' Kyle MacLachlan will be the latest American screen stars to make their West End debuts. They will star this summer in a new play called On an Average Day by young American author John Kolvenbach. The production, produced by Sonia Friedman (who also brought Madonna to the West End this year) and directed by John Crowley, will open at the Comedy Theatre on 7 August 2002 (following previews from 25 July) and continue for a limited season to 27 October.

Set in rural upstate New York, On an Average Day concerns Jack (MacLachlan) who unexpectedly returns home after a 15-year absence to find his abandoned younger brother, Robert (Harrelson) living in a private world that's far from ordinary. Robert is on trial for a bizarre traffic incident, is hoarding a shower full of newspaper clippings and has something unsavory living in the fridge. And what has Jack been hiding from Robert all these years? Even on an average day extraordinary things can happen.

Harrelson's acting career began in New York theatre as an understudy on Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues. Within months he was cast as the good-hearted but dim-witted bartender 'Woody Boyd' on the hit American TV series Cheers, for which he won an Emmy Award. He's gone on to find fame in films such as Indecent Proposal, Natural Born Killers, Kingpin, The People vs Larry Flynt and ED TV. His other stage credits include The Zoo Story and Brooklyn Laundry with Glenn Close and Laura Dern.

MacLachlan is best known for his performances for director David Lynch in the cult TV series Twin Peaks and in the film Blue Velvet. His other film credits include Hamlet and Time Code while he's recently been starring in the Sex in the City and will soon appear opposite Anna Friel in the British film Me Without You.

On an Average Day will also mark the London debut for author Kolvenbach, whose work has previously been produced in New York, Chicago and Toronto. Crowley, an associate at the Donmar Warehouse, has recently directed Tales from Hollywood, Into the Woods, Juno and the Paycock and Macbeth.

On an Average Day is designed by Scott Pask, with lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Aura. It is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Dede Harris, Mort Swinsky and ACT Productions, by arrangement with Charlotte Road Productions.

The Comedy Theatre's current resident, the revival of Michael Frayn's farce Noises Off, will now close on 20 July 2002.

- by Terri Paddock