James Fleet will star in Richard Bean’s political sex farce In the Club at the Hampstead Theatre, directed by recent Tony Award-winner David Grindley. The production opens 2 August 2007 (previews from 25 July) for a run until 25 August.

Fleet is perhaps best known to audiences for his role as Hugo in The Vicar of Dibley. His other credits include Mary Stuart, Three Sisters, Art, The Late Middle Classes on stage, and Charlotte Gray, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sense and Sensibility on screen.

Hapless MP Phillip Wardrobe (Fleet) has a busy day ahead of him, balancing his less-than-irreproachable political career with his attempts to start a family. As he prepares for his girlfriend to fly in from Kettering for an afternoon of fertile frolics, his plan to be voted President of the European Parliament is foiled at every turn by his unpredictable colleagues: uncouth Yorkshiremen, irate Turks and amorous Frenchwomen.

In the Club reunites director David Grindley with the creative teams behind his highly successful productions Journey's End (West End/Broadway), which won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Revival, Abigail's Party and What The Butler Saw, both of which transferred to the West End. Design will be by Jonathan Fensom, lighting by Jason Taylor and sound design by Gregory Clarke.

Richard Bean’s plays include Harvest, Honeymoon Suite, Toast, Under the Whaleback (all at the Royal Court), Up on Roof and The God Botherers. Grindley’s other credits include Honour, Some Girl(s) and The Philanthropist.

Joining Fleet in the ten-strong cast are Sian Brooke, Dermot Canavan, Anna Francolini, Huw Higginson, Carol Macready, Carla Mendonca, Richard Moore, Gary Oliver and Roderick Smith.

Francolini joins the cast fresh from her run in Into the Woods at the Royal Opera House. Her other credits include Caroline, or Change at the National Theatre, for which she was nominated for a 2007 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award. Her other stage credits include Almost Like Being in Love, Six Pictures of Lee Miller, The Ballad of Little Jo and Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along and Company (both at the Donmar Warehouse).

Currently at the Hampstead Theatre, Lucy Bailey’s production of Glass Eels by Neil Leyshon - winner of the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright - starts previews tomorrow (5 July 2007) ahead of an opening night on Monday (9 July).

- by Jake Brunger