Frasier star makes West End debut in La Bete
David Hyde Pierce is best known for playing Dr Niles Crane in the multi award-winning American sitcom Frasier. But he has also had a long and successful stage career in America – including winning a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his starring role in Curtains on Broadway. He also originated the role of Brave Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Spamalot and created roles in the Off-Broadway and regional productions of Mark O’Donnell’s That’s it Folks!, Richard Greenberg’s The Author’s Voice and The Maderati, Harry Kondoleon’s Zero Positive, Jules Feiffer’s Elliot Loves and Richard Alfieri’s Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks. His other stage credits include appearances in Hamlet and Much Ado at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Holiday and Camille at the Long Wharf Theatre, The Seagull, Tartuffe, Cyrano, and Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Guthrie Theatre, and Peter Brook’s production of The Cherry Orchard in New York, Moscow, Leningrad, and Tokyo.
American playwright David Hirson’s rollicking 1991 play, La Bete is a comic tour de force about Elomire (Pierce), a high-minded classical dramatist who loves only the theatre, and Valere (Rylance), a low-brow street clown who loves only himself. When the fickle princess (Lumley) decides she’s grown weary of Elomire’s royal theatre troupe, he and Valere are left fighting for survival as art squares off with ego in a literary showdown for the ages.
La Bete will preview from 26 June at the Comedy Theatre in the West End, playing until 4 September, and will then transfer to Broadway.