Lucy Punch will lead the cast of the previously announced West End transfer of Richard Bean’s Great Britain. The National Theatre production, directed by Nicholas Hytner, will begin performances on September 9 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. The play will open officially on September 26 and run through January 10, 2015.
Punch, who can be seen on screen later this year as Lucinda in the movie adaptation of Into the Woods, has appeared in films including You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Hot Fuzz, Bad Teacher, Being Julia and Are You Ready for Love?. Her previous stage credits include Boy Gets Girl, A Carpet, a Pony and a Monkey and The Graduate.
Punch is stepping into the role originated by Billie Piper. The actress, along with Ben Mansfield, will join members of the original National Theatre production’s cast, including Sarah Annis, Ross Boatman, Robert Calvert, 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.
Great Britain is an anarchic satire about the press, the police and the political establishment. Paige Britain (Punch) is the ambitious young news editor of The Free Press, a tabloid newspaper locked in a never-ending battle for more readers. The National Theatre production opened at the Lyttleton Theatre on June 30 this year, just days after its announcement and with no preview period.
The production is designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting by Neil Austin, music by Grant Olding, sound by Paul Arditti and video design by 59 Productions.