Theatre Royal Haymarket

The Rivals 2010

The Rivals comes to the West End

Theatre Royal Bath Productions presents


The Theatre Royal Bath production of The Rivals comes to London’s Haymarket Theatre for a strictly limited season, from Wednesday 10th November, starring Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles, and directed by Peter Hall (whose 80th birthday it is the day before the 23rd November press night). The production is historically significant in that the modern Theatre Royal Haymarket was opened on the 4th July 1821 with a production of The Rivals.

“Terrific performances in a delightfully funny production….a treat” Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, September 2010

It’s 1775 and the fashionable world descends on Bath, to show off its finery, take the waters, enjoy the gossip and pursue romance. Amongst them are some of the most extraordinary comic characters: the verbally misguided Mrs Malaprop; her absurdly romantic niece, Lydia Languish; the blinkered Sir Anthony Absolute; the blustering Irishman Sir Lucius O’Trigger; and the bumpkin Bob Acres. Throughout the course of a single day these suitors and schemers and their servants indulge in an assortment of hilariously extravagant intrigues before everyone is paired off to their own satisfaction.

“Peter Hall’s elegant production…filled with cracking performances” Georgina Brown, Mail on Sunday, September 2010

Penelope Keith’s stage her work includes Entertaining Angels, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Relatively Speaking and Blithe Spirit. On TV she is perhaps best known for the now classic ‘The Good Life’ and ‘To The Manor Born’.

“A comic masterpiece…a first rate classical revival” Michael Billington, The Guardian, September 2010

Peter Bowles is one of Britain’s most distinguished actors whose starring roles on television include ‘The Bounder’ and ‘The Irish RM’. His work with Peter Hall includes Separate Tables, School for Wives, The Misanthrope, Major Barbara and The Browning Version and Swansong in the 2009 Peter Hall Company season in Bath.

“Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles….two masters of the art of serious hilarity” John Peter, Sunday Times, September 2010

Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles starred together in one of the most watched British sitcoms of all time, ‘To the Manor Born’. The Rivals sees them sparring together on stage for the first time.

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