Joanna Lumley makes West End and Broadway return

Joanna Lumley

The London and Broadway revival of La Bete, Daid Hirson’s hilarious play, sees Joanna Lumley make a welcome return to the West End, playing the part of Princess Conti.

The cast also includes David Hyde Pierce, best known for playing Dr Niles Crane in the multi award-winning American sitcom Frasier, and recent Olivier award-winner Mark Rylance (Jerusalem).

Lumley is best known for her TV work, including Absolutely Fabulous, The Avengers and Sapphire and Steel. However, she has also had a long and successful stage career, with credits  including Private Lives, Noël and Gertie, Hedda Gabler, Blithe Spirit and An Ideal Husband.

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 be directed by Matthew Warchus and will preview from 26 June at the Comedy Theatre in the West End, playing until 4 September, and will then transfer to Broadway.

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