Only Fools and HorsesNicholas Lyndhurst (pictured) will make a rare stage appearance, starring alongside Julian Glover in a major new revival of Ronald Harwood’s modern classic, The Dresser. The production, directed by Peter Hall, opens at Norwich’s Theatre Royal on 2 November 2004 before continuing, until 4 December, to Brighton, Guildford, Bath and Richmond, ahead of an anticipated West End transfer.

In war-torn Britain, aging actor-manager ‘Sir’ (Glover) is struggling to keep a grip on his sanity and complete his 227th performance of King Lear. Despite all the able-bodied actors being in uniform and bombs destroying theatres, the show must go on. Ensuring that it does is Norman (Lyndhurst), Sir’s devoted dresser, who for 16 years has been there to fix his wig, massage his ego, remind him of his opening lines and provide the sound effects in the storm scene.

Written in 1980, The Dresser was inspired by Harwood’s own early experiences as a dresser to Donald Wolfit. The stage play was famously made into a 1983 film starring Albert Finney as Sir and Tom Courtenay as Norman. Harwood’s other credits include, on screen, Oscar winner The Pianist, and on stage, Taking Sides, Quartet, Mahler's Conversion and, last year’s West End adaptation of Francis Veber's See You Next Tuesday.

Lyndhurst is best known for his many TV comedies such as Butterflies, The Two of Us, The Piglet Files and Goodnight Sweetheart in addition to Only Fools and Horses, which was recently voted as the most popular sitcom of all time. His previous West End credits include The Foreigner and Straight and Narrow.

Amongst Glover's many recent stage credits are King Lear at Shakespeare’s Globe; Phedre, Britannicus, Waiting for Godot, An Inspector Calls, and Macbeth (with Sean Bean) in the West End; Coriolanus and Henry VI Parts I, II and III, for the RSC; and, last year, a major tour of Harwood’s Taking Sides.

The Dresser is produced by Theatre Royal Bath Productions.

- by Terri Paddock