The Best Man

Playhouse Theatre
Northumberland Avenue, London

Public Previews: 24 February 2018
Opens: 5 March 2018
Closes: 12 May 2018

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Nearest Tube: Embankment or Charing Cross

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Theatre seating plan

Show times
Monday at 7.45pm
Tuesday at 7.45pm
Wednesday at 7.45m
Thursday at 3.00pm and 7.45pm
Friday at 7.45pm
Saturday at 3.00pm and 7.45pm
Sunday no shows
Note: Mon 5 March at 7.00pm only

Runs ? hours and ? minutes

Seat prices
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Premium Seats Also Available
(plus booking fees if applicable)

The Best Man

The West End Premiere of Gore Vidal's political thriller The Best Man in London starring Martin Shaw, Jeff Fahey, Jack Shepherd and Maureen Lipman

How far would you go to be the most powerful man in the world? Two opposing presidential party candidates are neck and neck in an unscrupulous battle for the nomination. The only thing that separates the ex-Secretary of State and his populist opponent is an endorsement from a respected ex-President. But where does compromise end and corruption begin? And who in the end will be proved to be 'The Best Man'?

The cast features Martin Shaw as 'Secretary William Russell', Glynis Barber as 'Alice Russell', Jeff Fahey as 'Senator Joseph Cantwell', Honeysuckle Weeks as 'Mabel Cantwell', Jack Shepherd as 'Ex-President Arthur 'Artie' Hockstader' and Maureen Lipman as 'Mrs Sue-Ellen Gamadge'. Directed by Simon Evans with designs by Michael Taylor, lighting by Chris Davey, and music and sound by Ed Lewis.

Gore Vidal's The Best Man premiered on Broadway in New York in 1960 with Melvyn Douglas as 'William Russell', Frank Lovejoy as 'Joseph Cantwell' and Lee Tracy as 'Arthur Hockstader. Melvyn Douglas winning the Tony Award for 'Best Actor in a Play'. Although the play was a hit - running for just over 15 months - the production never transferred to LOndon's West End because it was thought that British audiences where unlikely to be interested in the American politics that where central to the play's storyline. Since 1960 there have been two revivals on Broadway: a 2000 revival with Spalding Gray as 'William Russell', Chris Noth as 'Joseph Cantwell' and Charles Durning as 'Arthur Hockstader' run for three months; while a 2012 revival with John Larroquette as 'William Russell', Eric McCormack as 'Joseph Cantwell', James Earl Jones as 'Arthur Hockstader' and Angela Lansbury as 'Mrs Gamadge' enjoyed a five month run. In 1964 the play was released as a film with Henry Fonda as 'William Russell', Cliff Robertson as 'Joe Cantwell' with Lee Tracy reprising his original Broadway stage role as 'Art Hockstader' for which he was Oscar nominated for 'Best Actor in a Supporting Role'.

Martin Shaw's London theatre credits include the role of 'Henry Horation Hobson' in Jonathan Church's revival of Harold Brighouse's Hobson's Choice at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2016; the role of 'Juror No 8' in Christopher Haydon's revival of Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men at the Garrick Theatre in 2013; the role of 'Frank Elgin' in Rufus Norris' revival of Clifford Odets' The Country Girl at the Apollo Theatre in 2010; the role of 'Sir Thomas More' in Michael Rudman's revival of Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons at the Haymarket Theatre in 2005; and the role of 'Lord Goring' in Peter Hall's revival of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband at the Globe Theatre (now Gielgud Theatre) in 1992, at the Haymarket Theatre in 1996 and at the Globe Theatre (now Gielgud Theatre) in 1997.

Jeff Fahey's West End theatre credits include the role of 'Juror No 3' in Christopher Haydon's revival of Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men at the Garrick Theatre in 2013.

Jack Shepherd's London stage credits include the role of 'Richard Roma' in Bill Bryden's production of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre (now Dorfman Theatre) in 1986.

Maureen Lipman's West End theatre credits include the role of 'Veta Louise Simmons' in Lindsay Posner's revival of Mary Chase's Harvey at the Haymarket Theatre in 2015; the role of 'Elli' in David Grindley's production of Oliver Cotton's Daytona at the Haymarket Theatre in 2014; the role of 'Clara Soppitt' in Christopher Luscombe's revival of J B Priestly's When We Are Married at the Garrick Theatre in 2010; 'Madame Armfeldt' in Trevor Nunn's revival of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music at the Garrick Theatre in 2009; the role of 'Florence Foster Jenkins' in Alan Strachan's production of Peter Quilter's Glorious! at the Duchess Theatre in 2005; the role of 'Dim Sum' in Sean Mathias's production of Bille Brown's Aladdin, starring Ian McKellen as the Dame, 'Widow Twanky', at the Old Vic Theatre in 2004; the role of 'Mrs Meers' in Michael Mayer's production of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2003; the role of 'Aunt Eller' in Trevor Nunn's revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! at the Lyceum Theatre in 1999; and the title role of 'Joyce Grenfell' in Alan Strachan's production of Re:Joyce, adapted from the works of Joyce Grenfell by Maureen Lipman and James Roose-Evans, at the Fortune Theatre in 1988 and Vaudeville Theatre in 1989 and 1991.

Glynis Barber's West End stage credits include the role of 'Genie Klein' in Marc Bruni's production of Douglas McGrath's Beautiful - The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre in 2015.

Honeysuckle Weeks' London theatre credits include the role of 'Sarah Prentice' in Roy Marsden's production of Agatha Christie's (writing as Mary Westmacott) A Daughter's A Daughter at the Trafalgar Studios in 2009.

The Best Man in London at the Playhouse Theatre public previews from 24 February 2018, opens on 5 March 2018 and closes on 12 May 2018