To The Manor Born stars Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles to reunite in new Peter Hall production

Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles in The Rivals

Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles in The Rivals

Sheridan’s classic comedy The Rivals is set for a new revival this autumn as Sir Peter Hall directs the play at the Theatre Royal Bath before it transfers into the West End.

The show will see the pairing of Penelope Keith, 70, and Peter Bowles, 73, who starred opposite each other in the hit 1979 BBC comedy To The Manor Born.

The play will mark the first time that the veteran actors have appeared together on stage, and will also be the first production in the newly refurbished auditorium of the theatre.

Director Peter Hall will celebrate his 80th birthday on 22 November this year, and has presented a summer season in Bath for the past seven years. In November he will direct a production of Twelfth Night at the National Theatre, where he was director from 1973 to 1988, starring his daughter Rebecca Hall as Viola.

He told the Independent in March that he has no plans to quit directing and hopes to die in the rehearsal room: “I’ll fall over. I hope. I love the job. I spend most of my time in a rehearsal room. To be paid money to spend six weeks of your life in Chekhov’s head is not bad. The theatre is the only place that tells the truth.”

The Rivals will play at the Theatre Royal Bath from 7 to 18 September.

Book tickets to THE RIVALS at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London