As previously tipped (See The Goss, 19 Aug 2009), British screen actor Rupert Friend will make his London stage debut in the UK premiere of Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony Award-winning Broadway comedy The Little Dog Laughed. The new production, directed by Jamie Lloyd, will co-star Tamsin Greig and will start performances at the Garrick Theatre on 8 January 2010.

Set in New York, The Little Dog Laughed is a four-hander centring on Mitchell (Friend), a Hollywood actor who, out of loneliness and boredom at his ailing career, decides to call a male escort hotline. Alex answers the call and meets him in his hotel room. The two form an unlikely friendship and both get far more out of the evening’s events than either originally planned.

Rupert Friend is best known for his screen roles in films including The Young Victoria and Cheri, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, and the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Tamsin Greig, who has been cast as Mitchell’s acerbic agent, is best known to TV fans from the likes of Green Wing, Love Soup and Black Books. Her stage credits include Much Ado About Nothing (for which she won the 2006 Best Actress Olivier), God of Carnage and Gethsemane.

The Little Dog Laughed opened Off-Broadway in January 2006 before transferring to Broadway later that year and going on to win a Tony Award for Best Play. The title refers to a short story written by the fictional character Arturo Bandini in John Fante’s 1930s Los Angeles-set novel Ask the Dust.

Jamie Lloyd’s recent West End productions include Three Days of Rain, Piaf and the Pinter double bill of The Lover and The Collection. Writer Beane\'s other credits including penning the book for the Broadway musical Xanadu.

Ahead of The Little Dog Laughed at the Garrick, South African musical The Mysteries (Yiimimangaliso), a radical reinvention of the Chester Mystery Plays, runs for 25 performances only from 11 September to 3 October 2009 (See News, 12 Jun 2009). It’s followed by Italian d quick-change artist Arturo Brachetti new one-man show Change from 26 October 2009 (previews from 19 October) to 3 January 2010 (See News, 27 Aug 2009).