The Americans are out in force again with the latest cast change for Yasmina Reza's long-running West End comedy, Art. Hollywood screen legend George Segal, who has been starring alongside Brits Paul Freeman and Richard Griffiths (all pictured), finishes his limited 15-week run on 29 July 2001. His compatriots - Judd Hirsch, Richard Thomas and Joe Morton - take over from Tuesday, 31 July.

All three in the new all-American cast have already appeared in the hit West End production, which opened at Wyndham's Theatre in October 1996. Hirsch and Morton starred together in 1999 while Thomas featured last year. In this, the production's 19th cast, they will reprise their roles as Marc (Hirsch), Serge (Morton) and Yvan (Thomas), three friends who fall out over an all-white modern art painting.

Hirsch is best known for his role in the American TV series Taxi. He was nominated for an Oscar for the film Ordinary People and has won two Tony Awards for Best Actor. His other London stage credits include Conversations with My Father in 1995.

Thomas is also well familiar to television audiences. He won an Emmy award for the part of narrator John Boy in TV's The Waltons, which he played from 1972 to 1977 and in numerous reunion episodes. He's also an accomplished classical actor with stage credits including Richard II, Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Measure for Measure. Morton's film credits include Speed, Forever Young and Lone Star.

The London production of Art - translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Matthew Warchus - has long attracted well-known actors for its short stints. The original cast starred Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott. Subsequent casts have featured Henry Goodman, David Haig, Anton Lesser, Tom Mannion and Art Malik as well as comedians Frank Skinner and Jack Dee. In addition to the upcoming trio, imported American casts have also brought the likes of Patrick Duffy, George Wendt and Stacy Keach to the West End.

Art has won both the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards for Best Comedy, while the New York production won the Tony and New York Critics Circle Awards for Best Play.

- by Terri Paddock