The Philanthropist at Trafalgar Studios
Trafalgar Studio One, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY

ABOUT The Philanthropist

The Philanthropist at Trafalgar Studios

Simon Callow directs a new production of Oscar® winner Christopher Hampton’s most celebrated play, The Philanthropist, starring Matt Berry, Simon Bird, Lily Cole, Charlotte Ritchie and Tom Rosenthal.

This classic hit comedy features some of today’s best young comedic actors playing the roles at the age Christopher Hampton first intended.

The Philanthropist will run from 3 April 2017 until 20 July 2017 at Trafalgar Studios.


Set in a fictitious English University town, the play follows 24 hours in the lives of a group of young academics.

The action unfolds in the rooms of Philip (Simon Bird), the university’s cosseted and floundering professor of philology, for whom solace and certitude exist in complex wordplay.

Out in the ‘real world’ the Prime Minister and his cabinet have been assassinated and England’s most treasured writers are being murdered one by one! Back in the cosy bubble of university life, the bachelor don anguishes over sex, marriage, anagrams and the meaning of life. Did someone suggest academics were ‘out of touch’?

When Philip hosts a dinner party, joined by his stylish and perceptive fiancée Celia (Charlotte Ritchie), his worldlier best friend Donald (Tom Rosenthal), the seductive Araminta (Lily Cole), and the wealthy and egomaniacal novelist Braham (Matt Berry), the evening sets off a chain of events which puncture the rarefied and cerebral world they inhabit.


The cast features Matt Berry (The IT Crowd, Toast of London), Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners), Lily Cole (St Trinian’s), Charlotte Ritchie (Call The Midwife, Fresh Meat) and Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner)


Written by Christopher Hampton. Directed by Simon Callow.


★★★★ Simon Bi – Daily Telegraph