Rufus Sewell (pictured), Richard Griffiths and Timothy West will star in the National Theatre's production of John Osborne's Luther this Autumn. The play will preview from 29 September 2001, before opening on 5 October. This will be the first major version of the work in the capital since Luther premiered at the Royal Court Theatre over 30 years ago.

Osborne, who also wrote Look Back in Anger and The Devil Inside Him, began his career as an actor-manager for various repertory companies. His own work came to represent the rebellious nature of the post-war generation, and saw him labelled the leader of an 'angry young man' era of writers. Luther centres on the controversial Reformation leader, Martin Luther (1483-1546), who divided Christianity into two separate churches during his reforms.

Rufus Sewell trained at London's Central School of Speech & Drama, and made his stage debut in Making It Better. He was also Olivier-nominated for his role in Stoppard's Arcadia and won a Broadway Theater World Award for Translations. More recently, in 1999, he starred in Macbeth at London's Queen's Theatre. Sewell's film career has embraced A Man of No Importance, Carrington and Cold Comfort Farm.

Richard Griffiths's theatre credits include Once In a Lifetime (Piccadilly Theatre), Rules of the Games and Heartbreak House (both Almeida) and Verdi's Messiah (Old Vic). A familiar face on screen too, he has starred in such films as Withnail & I, Chariots of Fire, Ghandi, Goldeneye and A Private Function. The esteemed actor Timothy West has worked for over forty-five years on stage, screen and radio. He was created a CBE in 1984, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has received Honorary Doctorates from four British universities. West's recent film works include 102 Dalmatians and Villa des Roses.

Other members of the cast include Geoffrey Hutchings, Malcolm Sinclair and Maxine Peake. Luther is directed by Peter Gill, who was the founding director of Riverside Studios in 1976. He was also Associate Director of the National Theatre until 1997 and has written several plays. The design is by Alison Chitty, with music from Terry Davis and music direction courtesy of Ian Macpherson.

- by Gareth Thompson