Actor Nigel Havers has launched a new theatre company, which has announced Noël Coward’s Private Lives as its first production.
The Nigel Havers Theatre Company will see Havers take 18 weeks each year to tour a play.
In Private Lives, Patricia Hodge will star as Amanda and Havers as Elyot, with Dugald Bruce-Lockhart to play the role of Victor and Natalie Walter to play Sybil.
The company plans to open the play at Theatre Royal Bath on October 1, before touring the UK.
It is aiming to visit locations including Norwich, Cheltenham, Newcastle, Cambridge, Richmond, Malvern and Leeds, until March 20, 2021, with further dates to be announced.
Private Lives will be directed by Christopher Luscombe, with set and costume designs by Simon Higlett, lighting design by Tim Mitchell and casting by Sarah Bird.
The Nigel Havers Theatre Company’s Private Lives is produced by David Pugh and Theatre Royal Bath Productions.
Pugh said: “Nigel Havers is one of the biggest stars who likes to tour and in the past we have had some incredibly successful partnerships, from [Yasmina Reza’s play] Art through to Frank McGuinness’s adaption of Rebecca.
"My suggestion last year to Nigel to form the Nigel Havers Theatre Company was met with a wry smile, but he warmed to the idea and finally agreed that he would take 18 weeks out each year to tour a play, ‘as long as the play is entertaining and, most importantly, ticket prices are accessible to as many people as possible’.”
Pugh added: “Little did we know last year that this now seems to be more important than ever and, when we are allowed again to safely open theatres, we have to realise theatre can no longer be the luxury item it so often is; theatre should be able to be seen by and be for everybody."