British screen siren Patsy Kensit (pictured) will make her West End debut along with Father Ted's Ardal O'Hanlon (See News, Fri 18 Jul 2003) in the French comedy See You Next Tuesday, which receives its British premiere at the Albery Theatre on 2 October 2003, following previews from 17 September.

In addition to the West End newcomers and, as previously announced, Nigel Havers, the cast will include Patrick Ryecart (An Ideal Husband, Another Country, Candida, Geoffrey Hutchings (just seen in The Lady from the Sea at the Almeida), Carol Royle (Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida for the RSC) and Roy Sampson (Charley's Aunt).

Wealthy Parisian publisher Pierre Brochant (Havers) has a successful career, numerous friends, a beautiful wife and a passionate mistress. And an unusual pastime. Once a week, his friends meet for dinner and invite the most stupid person they can find. By chance, Pierre discovers the finest idiot ever, the unsuspecting accountant François Pignon (O'Hanlon). As the paths of these two unlikely dinner companions cross, the evening descends into farce.

Kensit will play Havers' mistress, Marlene. Though she's previously appeared on stage with the RSC, the actress is better known for her films such as Absolute Beginners, Lethal Weapon II and Angels and Insects as well as her rock star ex-husbands, not least Liam Gallagher of Oasis.

O'Hanlon - an Irish stand-up comic who became a household name in the UK after appearing as the inept Father Dougal in the sitcom Father Ted - made his stage acting debut in autumn 2002 when See You Next Tuesday was originally presented at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.

French writer and director Francis Veber (whose other credits include Three Fugitives and La Cage Aux Folles) first wrote the piece for the stage in 1993, under the title Le Diner de Cons, which was made into a 1998 film that became one of France's biggest ever box office successes. British dramatist Ronald Harwood (The Dresser, Quartet, Taking Sides, Mahler's Conversion on stage, The Pianist on screen) adapted the script back into a stage play for last year's Irish premiere.

Director Robin Lefevre has brought several previous Gate productions to the West End including Krapp's Last Tape with John Hurt, The Homecoming with Ian Holm and, last year, Brian Friel's Chekhov spin-off Afterplay, with Hurt and Penelope Wilton. Amongst his many other credits are Peggy for You, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Are You Lonesome Tonight, The Entertainer and The Wexford Trilogy. Also in London this autumn, Lefevre's revival of John Osborne's The Hotel in Amsterdam opens at the Donmar Warehouse on 17 September 2003 (previews 11 September).

See You Next Tuesday will be designed by Liz Ascroft with lighting by Mick Hughes. It's presented in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Michael Colgan and Mark Milln in association with the Gate Theatre, Dublin. Prior to its West End season, the production will visit Richmond Theatre (28 August to 6 September) and Theatre Royal Brighton (8 to 13 September).

- by Terri Paddock