Rowan Atkinson will be joined by Conleth Hill, Will Keen, Felicity Montagu and Malcolm Sinclair in the first major West End revival of Simon Gray's play 'Quartermaine's Terms', from 23 January 2013 at Wyndham's Theatre, London.
Conleth Hill will play Henry Windscape, Will Keen will play Derek Meadle, Felicity Montagu will take the role Melanie Garth, and Malcolm Sinclair will play Eddie Loomis. As previously announced, Rowan Atkinson will play the title role of St John Quartermaine.
The production will be directed by Richard Eyre, with design by Tim Hatley. It will play the Theatre Royal Brighton (8 – 12 January) and the Theatre Royal Bath (14 - 19 January) before beginning previews in the West End on 23 January at Wyndham's Theatre (press night Tuesday 29 January).
Set in the 1960s in an English language school for foreigners, this tragicomic play is a humorous but ultimately moving account of several years in the lives of seven teachers.
At the heart of the group is St. John Quartermaine (Rowan Atkinson) – kind, pleasant and agreeable, but utterly hopeless as a teacher. An almost permanent feature in the staff room, he's always available to listen to the problems of his self-obsessed colleagues. But when a new Principal is appointed, Quartermaine's future looks precarious...
This quintessentially British drama is written by Simon Gray with his characteristic sparkling wit.
Rowan Atkinson first came to national attention in the late 1970s in the renowned Amnesty International show The Secret Policeman's Ball and in the BBC satirical comedy series Not the Nine O'Clock News. In 1983, Rowan and writer Richard Curtis created their "situation tragedy" The Black Adder for the BBC: that series and the three subsequent written by Richard and Ben Elton won a host of awards, including personal awards for Rowan's performance.
His most famous character, Mr Bean, first emerged in Rowan's 1980s stage revues and was developed into a television series with Richard Curtis and Robin Driscoll. Mr Bean has been screened in over 240 countries and transformed into an animated series and two feature films that Rowan co-produced, Bean and Mr Bean's Holiday. Other films include Never Say Never Again, The Lion King (for which he provided the voice of Zazu), The Witches, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Johnny English, Love Actually and Johnny English Reborn.
Quartermaine's Terms will be Rowan Atkinson's first appearance in a play for almost 25 years. He first appeared in the West End in 1981 in Rowan Atkinson in Revue, also produced by Michael Codron, for which he won a SWET award, and subsequently in The New Revue, The Nerd, The Sneeze and most recently as Fagin in Sir Cameron Mackintosh's revival of the musical Oliver!, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination.
Richard Eyre's productions as Artistic Director of The National Theatre (1988–97) included Guys and Dolls, The Beggar's Opera, Hamlet, Racing Demon, Richard III, Night of the Iguana, Skylight, La Grande Magia, John Gabriel Borkman, Amy's View, King Lear and The Invention of Love. Since then theatre and opera work includes The Crucible and Mary Poppins (West End, Broadway), Nozze di Figaro (Aix-en-Provence), Vincent in Brixton (RNT, West End, Broadway), The Reporter and The Observer (RNT), Private Lives (West End and Broadway), A Flea in Her Ear (Old Vic) The Last of the Duchess (Hampstead) and his own adaptations of Les Mains sales and Hedda Gabler (Almeida) and Carmen (Metropolitan Opera, New York). Film work includes Tumbledown, Suddenly Last Summer, The Ploughman's Lunch, Iris, Stage Beauty and Notes on a Scandal. He adapted and directed Henry IV Parts One and Two for the BBC's Shakespeare Season. His books include National Service, a journal of his time at the RNT and Talking Theatre. He has received numerous major awards; in 2011 Richard was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was knighted in 1997