The details have finally been revealed of Richard Bean’s previously reported new play at Britain's National Theatre. For legal reasons the production was unable to announce until the phone hacking trial that has rocked the U.K. ended. Great Britain, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Billie Piper, will open at the Lyttelton Theatre on June 30 and run through August 23. The production will have no previews.
The new play is an anarchic satire about the press, the police and the political establishment. Piper plays Paige Britain, the ambitious young news editor of The Free Press, a tabloid newspaper locked in a never-ending battle for more readers.
Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors, ran on Broadway in 2012, starring James Corden. Other works include England People Very Nice, The Mentalists, The Heretic, Harvest, Honeymoon Suite, Under the Whaleback and Toast. He has written the book for the new West End musical Made in Dagenham. Piper’s stage credits include The Effect, Reasons to be Pretty and Treats. Her screen credits include Foxtrot, Penny Dreadful, True Love, A Passionate Woman, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Mansfield Park and Doctor Who.
The cast will also feature Sarah Annis, Ross Boatman, Robert Calvert, Oliver Chris, William Chubb, Dermot Crowley, Jo Dockery, Robert Glenister, Ian Hallard, James Harkness, Scott Karim, Barbara Kirby, Nicholas Lumley, Maggie McCarthy, Iain Mitchell, Miles Mitchell, Aaron Neil, Nick Sampson, Kellie Shirley, Kiruna Stamell, Harriet Thorpe, Rupert Vansittart, Joseph Wilkins and Andrew Woodall.
The production will be designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting by Neil Austin, music by Grant Olding, sound by Paul Arditti and video/projection by Leo Warner.