It has been announced that James Dreyfus will star as Elwood P. Dowd in a new production of Mary Chase’s comedy Harvey.
The show will open at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 6th February, running until 21st February, prior to a short UK Tour (dates below) and planned West End run. Lindsay Posner directs.
James Dreyfus’s more recent theatre roles include Dr Pangloss in Candide (Menier Chocolate Factory), Pauncefort Quentin in The Vortex (Rose Theatre Kingston), OJ Berman in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Haymarket Theatre), Humphrey in The Common Pursuit (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Emcee in Cabaret, (Lyric Theatre). He won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for his role as Russell Paxton in The Lady in the Dark at the National Theatre.
Lindsay Posner was associate director at the Royal Court Theatre from 1987 to 1992, where his production of Death and the Maiden won two Olivier Awards. Lindsay has directed countless West End shows, including the current production of Speed the Plow (Playhouse). Lindsay has also directed many times for the Old Vic, the Theatre Royal Bath, the National Theatre, the RSC, the Almeida and the Young Vic, as well as for various opera companies, including the Royal Opera House.
Elwood P. Dowd has only one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit named Harvey. In order to save the family's reputation, Elwood's sister Veta takes him to see psychiatrist Dr William Chumley. But when the doctor mistakenly commits anxiety-ridden Veta instead of her brother, it sets off an hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit.
Harvey premiered on Broadway in 1944, winning writer Mary Chase the Pulitzer Prize for Drama the following year. The play premiered in London in 1949 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. In 1950, Mary Chase adapted her play for the big screen, with James Stewart in the role of Elwood P. Dowd. James Stewart went on to star in the Broadway and London revivals of the stage play – in 1970 with Helen Hayes on Broadway and in 1975 with Mona Washbourne at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
The 2015 national tour of Harvey is produced by Don Gregory in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, with Julian Stoneman Associates and Paul Tyrer and Jamie Clark for The Booking Office.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Brighton Theatre Royal