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.
Set in Paris, See You Next Tuesday revolves around successful publisher Pierre (Havers) who has an unusual pastime. Every Tuesday he and his friends hold a dinner party to which each must invite a prime dope. In Francois (O'Hanlon), Pierre believes he's found his finest ever specimen.
Havers' many screen credits include The Charmer, Empire of the Sun and Chariots of Fire while, in an extensive stage career, his most recent appearances have included several long stints in another French comedy of manners, Yasmina Reza's Art.
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).
- by Terri Paddock