Stephen Fry, Sheila Atim, Sarah Hadland and Layton Williams have been cast in a new radio play, which is raising money for individuals and organisations in theatre who are struggling due to coronavirus.
Russell Tovey, Mina Anwar and Emily Atack will also feature in the play, The Understudy, which is based on the novel of the same name by David Nicholls.
Huddersfield’s Lawrence Batley Theatre, which is behind the project, will split the proceeds with charities including the Theatre Development Trust, Acting for Others and Equity Charitable Trust.
The Understudy will be broadcast online in two parts on May 20 and May 27. Further casting is to be announced.
A stage adaptation had originally been commissioned by the Lowry in Salford, and is written by Henry Filoux-Bennett. It is directed by Giles Croft.
Sound, music and effects are by Alexandra Faye Braithwaite, Annie May Fletcher and Sophie Galpin.
The cast and creative team involved in The Understudy are bringing it to life in isolation, with actors recording their lines at home. The public will be able to tune in to listen to The Understudy by buying a ticket.
Fry said: “I am just so delighted to be working on Henry Filloux-Bennett’s superb adaptation of David Nicholls’s The Understudy.
“I do hope lots of you will listen in and combine a good time with support for our wonderful theatre industry.”
Nicholls added: “I’ve always had soft spot for The Understudy and was hugely excited to see it come to life on a new online stage, and with such a great team.
“So much is changing, at such speed, and I’m full of admiration for the way it’s now being reimagined. I can’t wait.”
A spokesperson for the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre said: “We welcome this initiative and are delighted that money raised will be donated to support theatres across the country – particularly outside London where the industry needs it most.
“It has never been more vital that our industry pulls together, and it is fantastic to see artists and performers using creativity and ingenuity to help support the theatre workforce through this difficult time.”