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Rupert Everett and Jennifer Saunders to star in Theatre Royal Bath new season

Rupert Everett will make his theatrical directing debut with the staging of Uncle Vanya

Rupert Everett and Jennifer Saunders
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Rupert Everett is to star in his own staging of Chekhov's seminal play Uncle Vanya.

The new adaptation by David Hare will run at Theatre Royal Bath from July 18 to August 3 with an opening night on 24 July, and will also be directed by Everett. It marks the actor's theatrical directing debut, following his film directing debut last year with The Happy Prince.

The piece looks at what happens when an elderly professor and his new young wife come back to visit their rural estate which is run by the professor's daughter, Sonya, and Vanya, her uncle. The set will be designed by Charles Quiggin. Everett will play Vanya, with further casting announced in due course.

Elsewhere in the season, Jennifer Saunders will star as Madame Arcati in Noël Coward's play Blithe Spirit, directed by Richard Eyre. The show runs from 13 June to 6 July, with an opening night on 19 June and also stars Lisa Dillon as Ruth Condomine, with further casting yet to be announced. Anthony Ward designs and Howard Harrison lights the production.

The role of Madame Arcati was famously played by Angela Lansbury in the West End in 2014, directed by Michael Blakemore. Blithe Spirit tells what happens when Charles Condomine and his wife Ruth are haunted and an eccentric medium comes to stage a seance.