It has been announced that Stephen Merchant will make his West End debut in a new production of Richard Bean’s comic two hander The Mentalists.
Steffan Rhodri will also star in the production which is directed by Abbey Wright. Design is by Richard Kent, with lighting by David Plater and casting by Anne Vosser.
The show opens at the Wyndham’s Theatre on Monday 13th July (previews from 3rd July) and runs for a limited season until 26th September 2015.
Holed up in a faceless Finsbury Park hotel room Ted (Stephen Merchant), and Morrie (Steffan Rhodri) are forced to confront the darker side of their unique relationship. Things unravel as the pressure mounts in this hilarious and touching tale of friendship and utopian visions gone awry.
Well-known for his collaborations with Ricky Gervais, including popular television shows The Office, Extras, Life's Too Short and An Idiot Abroad, Stephen Merchant recently starred in Dan Mazer’s hit British comedy film I Give It A Year alongside Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall. Merchant wrote, directed and performed Hello Ladies, an international stand-up comedy tour which he went on to re-create as a television series for HBO including HBO special Hello Ladies – The Movie. In a career that has seen Merchant accept four BAFTA awards, four British Comedy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his television work, The Mentalists will mark both his theatrical and West End debut.
Steffan Rhodri was last seen in the West End in Laura Wade’s Posh and Alan Ayckborn’s Absent Friends, both in 2012. On television, Rhodri became a household name portraying Dave Coaches in Gavin & Stacey for three years between 2007 and 2010. More recent television credits include Under Milk Wood for the BBC and Channel 4’s Cucumber.
Stephen Merchant says: “I’m going to be in a West End play. A hilarious, darkly poignant Richard Bean play no less. Come and see me and Steffan Rhodri doing proper acting in The Mentalists this summer.”
Richard Bean says: “The central concerns of the play are even more relevant in an election year than when I wrote it. Factors like the perceived decline of social values & how this can result in the rise of fringe parties and a very personal view of politics fascinate me; but the real humour of the piece comes from Ted & Morrie's friendship, their reliance on each other & how they deal with their frustrations as working men battling against the world.”