West End producer Bill Kenwright has announced that Ben Weatherill’s new play Frank and Percy, starring Ian McKellen and Roger Allam is coming to London.
The show will have a limited London season at The Other Palace from Friday 8 September until Sunday 3 December.
Directed by Sean Mathias, the play recently ran at the Theatre Royal Windsor and Theatre Royal Bath, enjoying strong reviews when it opened at the Theatre Royal Windsor.
A poignant and witty play
Frank and Percy is billed as a poignant and witty take on the unexpected relationship that blossoms between two men.
Devoted to their dogs, they believe that human connection is far more temperamental. But as their dogs play in the park, can Frank, a widowed schoolteacher and Percy, a somewhat radical elder statesman, find the time for new infatuation, or should they just let sleeping dogs lie?
Ian McKellen and Roger Allam
Sir Ian McKellen is one of Britain’s greatest actors, performing on stage and screen, including as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films, and in The X-Men Trilogy
Ian McKellen was recently starring in the West End in panto Mother Goose, which played the Duke of York’s Theatre in London, and finished in Bristol on 16 April 2023.
Roger Allam’s many starring appearances on stage, television, film and radio over the past three decades include, on stage, Javert in the original cast of Les Misérables, Michael Frayn’s Democracy and the hugely successful revival of Boeing Boeing opposite Mark Rylance.
Writer Ben Weatherill
Ben Weatherill is an up-and-coming writer for both stage and screen. He has projects in development with TV and film companies including STV, Objective Fiction, Imaginarium, Hillbilly, Tall Story and Red Planet Pictures, and is currently on attachment to the National Theatre. His 2018 play Jellyfish transferred from the Bush Theatre to the National in 2019 and as nominated for four Offfie awards.
Sean Mathias, Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills
Director Sean Mathias said in a statement: “I cannot believe my luck in finding this charming and original new play. Ben Weatherill (Frank & Percy) is a true young talent in theatre. To have reunited Ian and Roger after almost 20 years since we all did Aladdin together at the Old Vic is a real coup. Frank and Percy explores the fragility and joy of relationships, and what forges and strengthens bonds between humans, at a time when more than ever, we all need to love and support one another.”
The Other Palace owner and producer Bill Kenwright said: “In welcoming Ian and Roger to our theatre we are also thrilled to use this limited London run at The Other Palace to launch our new development levy, to enable us to build upon MT Fest, our Musical Bites lunchtime series and Making a Musical podcast to provide further paid opportunities to develop the next generation of theatre makers and writers.”
Paul Taylor-Mills Artistic Director at The Other Palace said: “We are very excited to be welcoming two of the biggest stars of British Theatre to The Other Palace for this limited run. Between Ian and Roger, they represent the breadth and range of British theatre, from plays to musicals, demonstrating why London is the heart of the theatrical world.”
New writing development fund
The Other Palace also announced today the launch of a new writing development fund at The Other Palace. 50p from each ticket sold on all future productions in the main house, will be allocated to a ring-fenced fund specifically to support the development of new writing and emerging playwrights. The fund will provide grants for new writing from an open call to support, commission and workshop new and emerging writers to develop new plays and musicals, which will then receive a sharing or staged production in the studio at The Other Palace. Full details are to be announced.