James McAvoy (pictured) and Nigel Harman will star in the first West End revival of Richard Greenberg’s 1997 play Three Days of Rain which will open on 10 February 2009 (previews from 30 January) at the Apollo Theatre, where it will have a limited run to 2 May. The production is directed by Donmar Warehouse associate director Jamie Lloyd, whose Donmar production of Piaf transferred this week to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre.

Though McAvoy and Harman are now best known for their screen credits – including the films The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, Becoming Jane and Starter for Ten for McAvoy, and TV’s EastEnders for Harman – they appeared together on stage at the Donmar in Michael Grandage’s 2001 revival of Privates on Parade.

Since then, Harman has bulked up his theatre credits with Guys and Dolls in the West End, The Caretaker, The Exonerated and, earlier this year at the Menier Chocolate Factory, The Common Pursuit. McAvoy last took to the stage in 2005 in Laura Wade’s Breathing Corpses at the Royal Court Upstairs. More recently, he watched his wife, actress Anne-Marie Duff (pictured with McAvoy), win Best Actress prizes at the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for her title turn in Saint Joan at the National last year.

Three Days of Rain explores the secrets passed from one generation to the next. When two architecture partners die, they leave their children the mysterious legacy of a house they designed. The past, including an inexplicable diary entry containing the words \'three days of rain\', is delved and re-interpreted until the audience is taken back to the earlier generation (played by the same three actors) to discover the truth.

Three Days of Rain had its UK premiere at the Donmar Warehouse in 1999, with a cast of Colin Firth, David Morrissey and Elizabeth McGovern (See News, 9 Jun 1999). A 2006 Broadway revival starred Julia Roberts, Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper. This is its first London revival since. The final, female part has not yet been cast.

Continuing the Donmar connection, Three Days of Rain is being produced by Neal Street Productions (the company founded in 2003 by former Donmar artistic director and executive director Sam Mendes and Caro Newling) and CMP (founded by two more former Donmar executives, Nick Frankfort and Tobias Round, in 2006).

Currently at the Apollo, another play with “rain” in the title, the stage adaptation of the 1988 Oscar-winning film Rain Man, starring Hollywood’s Josh Hartnett and Adam Godley, is due to complete its limited season on 20 December (See Review Round-up, 22 Sep 2008).

- by Terri Paddock