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Omid Djalili returns to West End to star in Orton's Butler

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Omid Djalili is returning to the West End to play Dr Rance in a revival of Joe Orton’s comedy What the Butler Saw, which opens at the Vaudeville Theatre on 16 May (previews from 4 May).

The production, which will play a strictly limited season to 25 August, is being directed by Sean Foley, who recently helmed the critically-acclaimed stage adaptation of The Ladykillers.

Djalili was last in the West End in 2009 when he took over from fellow actor-comedian Rowan Atkinson as Fagin in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. His many screen credits include BBC's The Omid Djalili Show, the US sitcom Whoopi with Whoopi Goldberg and the films The Mummy, Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean III.

He's currently on a UK stand-up tour, which finishes on 25 February at the Hammersmith Apollo.

Orton's last play, What the Butler Saw was first produced in 1969, two years after the author's untimely death. In it, sex-obsessed psychiatrist Dr Prentice is frustrated in his attempts to seduce a secretary by the arrival of his nymphomaniac wife, over-enthusiastic inspector Dr Rance and a dim-witted policeman.

The new revival is being produced by MJE Productions, whose credits include the West End musical Ghost and the 2009 production of Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane starring Imelda Staunton and Mathew Horne.


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