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Lily Cole and Matt Berry in new production of The Philanthropist

Simon Callow will direct Christopher Hampton's play

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Lily Cole, Matt Berry and Simon Bird
© Matt Berry image: Dan Wooller

A new production of Christopher Hampton's comedy The Philanthropist is to open in London.

Simon Callow will direct the show, which stars model and actress Lily Cole alongside Toast actor Matt Berry, Inbetweeners actor Simon Bird, Fresh Meat's Charlotte Ritchie and Plebs star Tom Rosenthal.

The Philanthropist originally premiered at the Royal Court in 1970 and is a riff on Moliere's The Misanthrope. Set in an English university town, the play looks at 24 hours in the lives of a group of young academics and focuses on a young professor of philology while in the background the Prime Minister and his cabinet have been assassinated.

The play was Hampton's breakout play, staged when he was just 23.

Callow said: "The play was really about Christopher Hampton's contemporaries, but neither then, nor ever since, has it been cast at the right age. I'm very excited, not only to be doing the play, which I think one of the funniest, sharpest plays in the English language, but to be doing it with a group of brilliantly witty and original young actors who will reveal the play as it's never been seen before."

Click here to buy tickets here at noon 23 February

The Philanthropists runs at Trafalgar Studios from 3 April to 22 July.

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