Starring Patricia Hodge and Nicholas Le Prevost, DANDY DICK by Arthur Wing Pinero will have its opening night on July 3. This Theatre Royal Brighton Productions and Ambassador Theatre Group collaboration kicks off the first of many planned classic plays to tour the country's best playhouses nationwide before the West End.
Christopher Luscombe, the Director, said, "We're thrilled to be staging DANDY DICK, a glorious British comedy written 125 years ago in Brighton, as the first production for Theatre Royal Brighton Productions' opening season. It is a rarely seen treasure that so richly deserves to be enjoyed by modern audiences in search of quality and entertainment in an evening out at the theatre.
"Looking ahead, we will follow DANDY DICK with a modern classic in Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, and John Dighton's much-loved farce, The Happiest Days of Your Life. With our Associate Directors, Maria Aitken and Philip Franks, we will be developing new titles and uncovering other rarely seen classic tales through workshops, readings and events with local artists over the coming months, from our celebrated home at the Theatre Royal Brighton."
Howard Panter for ATG said, "Theatre Royal Brighton has a wonderful reputation as an actors' theatre, with its unique relationship between the audience and the stage, and a tradition of the very best plays and players taking advantage of the seaside air and creative spirit of Brighton.
"There is a renaissance happening in regional theatre, and we have undoubtedly seen a shift from the centre of the theatrical landscape being London – from Sussex to Scotland and everything in between, audiences are keen to see quality plays without travelling many miles for the pleasure. We recently saw play box office records smashed in both Manchester and Glasgow with Zach Braff's All New People, and The National Theatre's hit One Man, Two Guvnors saw a flood of new bookers in Birmingham and Aylesbury, proving that play-going audiences are out there. DANDY DICK, starring two of our most beloved and funny actors, Patricia Hodge and Nicholas Le Prevost, is just the kind of great night at the theatre our audiences are demanding."
Written in Brighton in 1887, DANDY DICK tells the hilarious story of the Very Reverend Augustin Jedd, a pillar of Victorian respectability, who preaches regularly against the evils of horseracing and gambling. However, a visit from his tearaway sister, Georgiana, leads him to risk all at the races, much against his better judgement. Mayhem ensues, with romantic intrigue, mistaken identity and a runaway horse. Olivier Award-winner Patricia Hodge, whose career spans film (Betrayal, Behind Enemy Lines), theatre (Noises Off, Calendar Girls) and television (a BAFTA nomination for Hotel du Lac, The Falklands Play and Miranda), will play Georgiana. Nicholas Le Prevost, whose distinguished stage career includes many productions at The National Theatre, including My Fair Lady, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award, and, most recently, The Misanthrope with Keira Knightley in the West End, will star as the Dean.
This classic British comedy saw its last major production in 1987 in a national tour starring Sir Anthony Quayle and Margaret Courtenay, and the play last appeared in the West End in 1973 starring Alastair Sim and Patricia Routledge.