Keira Knightley made her much-anticipated stage debut at the Comedy Theatre last night (17 December 2009, previews from 5 December), starring opposite Damian Lewis in Martin Crimp's updated adaptation of Moliere’s 17th-century comedy The Misanthrope (See News, 9 Oct 2009).

Crimp’s version is set in modern-day London, where Alceste (Lewis) is a famous British playwright disillusioned and angry with the hypocrisy, shallowness and vanity of the contemporary world. Vowing to reject society, Alceste’s plans are derailed when he falls madly in love with Jennifer (Knightley), an ambitious American film star and darling of the social scene, who may prove to be his biggest challenge yet.

Directed by Thea Sharrock, the cast also features Tara Fitzgerald, Dominic Rowan, Tim McMullan, Kelly Price and Nicholas Le Prevost.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE MISANTHROPE’s 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was at the Comedy Theatre for the curtain call, and at the after party (held at the Institute of Directors), where guests included: Imogen Lloyd Webber, Emilia Fox, Sadie Frost, Charles Dance, Jonathan Pryce and Stephen Mangan.

The Misanthrope season, which continues to 13 March 2010, coincides with the UK premiere production of Broadway comedy The Little Dog Laughed, in which Knightley's real-life partner and fellow screen actor, Rupert Friend, makes his stage debut at the West End’s Garrick Theatre in January, also playing a Hollywood actor (See News, 4 Sep 2009).