Images have been released offering a first glimpse of Absolute Hell, ahead of its opening at the National Theatre later this month.

Joe Hill-Gibbins’ highly anticipated ensemble production features Kate Fleetwood (High Society, Old Vic) and Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey) as the two central characters Christine Foskett – the seemingly hard nosed, but sensitive manager of soho drinking den La Vie en Rose – and Hugh Marriner – an impecunious, gay writer and mummy’s boy who has never managed to live up to his early success.

The roles were famously played by Judi Dench and Bill Nighy at the National Theatre in 1995, with Judi winning the Olivier Award for Best Actress.

An intoxicating plunge into post-war Soho, Rodney Ackland’s scandalous black comedy features many colourful figures each battling their own demons.

The cast also includes Jonathan Slinger (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Urine Town) as a poisonous film producer, Maurice Hussey; and Esh Alladi as Cyril Clatworthy, his deliciously camp assistant/slave.

 

Absolute Hell, National Theatre, 2018

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Kate Fleetwood as Christine, Absolute Hell, National Theatre, 2018, (c) Johan Persson

 

Completing the cast are Elizabeth Andrewartha, Ashley Byan, Jonathan Coote, Rachel Dale, Carole Dance, Joanna David, Patricia England, Jenny Galloway, Frazer Hadfield, Aaron Heffernan, Simon Hepworth, Lloyd Hutchinson, Martins Imhangbe, Stephanie Jacob, Fiz Marcus, Sinéad Matthews, Connor Mills, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Anita Reynolds, John Sackville, Liza Sadovy, Eileen Walsh, Danny Webb and Jade Yourell.

Set design is by Lizzie Clachan with costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Jon Clark and musical direction by Harvey Brough.

Buy tickets Absolute Hell

Absolute Hell is booking until 16 June 2018 at the National Theatre, London