Producer Eric Abraham isn’t the only member of the Embers team thinking well ahead: playwright Christopher Hampton, who has adapted the best-selling novel for the stage, is also keeping busy. In addition to his involvement in next year’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the Royal Court, for which he’s done a new translation of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Hampton is working on a new play, which he hopes will premiere at the National in 2007. Like Embers and Hampton’s most famous stage play, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, it too is based on a novel – William Dalrymple’s 1999 best-seller White Mughals, about a colonial love affair between an English officer and a Muslim princess in 18th-century India. Meanwhile, there’s still hope that the Donmar Warehouse’s recent sell-out revival of Hampton’s 1970 play The Philanthropist will transfer to the West End, though it will have to wait until next year after star Simon Russell Beale has completed his Broadway run in Monty Python musical Spamalot, in which he opens this month (See News, 20 Sep 2005). Russell Beale has already won the Evening Standard Best Actor prize for The Philanthropist (See News, 28 Nov 2005), which has also earned nominations for Best Actor and Best Play Revival in Whatsonstage.com’s Theatregoers’ Choice Awards (click here to vote now!).