It has been announced that Tom Conti and Gwen Taylor will star in a new production of Before The Party by Rodney Ackland.
The wickedly satirical comedy will open at the Theatre Royal Windsor on 2nd September ahead of a short tour. The show will visit Norwich, Woking, Malvern, Cheltenham, Bath and Eastbourne.
Conti will also direct the production, having first directed it in 1980 at the West End's Apollo Theatre starring Jane Asher and Michael Gough.
The war is over and the Skinner family is trying to return to normal. If only the blasted Government wasn’t such a nuisance with rationing preventing Cook from acquiring delicious delicacies. With daughter Laura returned from Africa, widowed but not alone, they prepare for the latest social gathering.
Conti is one of the most respected and celebrated actors of his generation. Unforgettable as the leading man in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and Shirley Valentine, he has also appeared as myriad characters on screen and stage. He was recently voted Most Popular Actor in the West End alongside Dame Judi Dench. This year saw him tour the UK as Juror #8 in Twelve Angry Men, a role he reprised from the successful and sold-out extended run of the drama at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End.
Taylor is best known in recent years for her role as Anne Foster, mother of the villainous Frank Foster in Coronation Street, but she is also much loved for starring in the ITV sitcoms Duty Free, A Bit of A Do with David Jason – for which she was nominated for a Best Actress TV Bafta - and as the lead character in Barbara. She also starred as Peggy Armstrong in Heartbeat, and has appeared in Yes, Prime Minister, Murder Most Horrid, Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders and Fat Friends. Her theatre credits include Driving Miss Daisy, The Butterfly Lion, Prick Up Your Ears and Calendar Girls.