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Maureen Lipman to direct late husband’s play

Maureen Lipman is directing The Knowledge. Photo: Elliott Franks
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Actor and writer Maureen Lipman is to direct the world stage premiere of Jack Rosenthal’s The Knowledge.

Lipman played a leading role in the 1979 comedy film the play is based on, and is also Rosenthal’s widow.

The Knowledge has been adapted for the stage by Simon Block and will show at London’s Charing Cross Theatre from September 4 to November 11. Press night will be on September 11.

It follows the struggles of four Londoners as they attempt to become black cab drivers.

Lipman said: “It is 13 years since I lost my husband, the unassuming genius Jack Rosenthal.

“The Knowledge is perhaps Jack’s best realised play – a hymn to the London that he came to love.

“It shows the years of pain, strain and sacrifice that London cabbies have to endure to acquire the Knowledge, pass the world’s toughest and most terrifying taxi examinations and earn the right to wear the Green Badge.”

She added: “This is my 50th year in the acting business and, having acted in the original film, I was thrilled to be asked to make The Knowledge the next show I direct.”

Set design is by Nicolai Hart-Hansen, costumes by Jonathan Lipman, and sound is by Andrew Johnson. Casting is to be announced.

The Knowledge is produced by Vaughan Williams and Steven M Levy.