The Habit of Art (1)
The Habit of Art (1)

The Original Theatre Company, York Theatre Royal, and Ghost Light Productions are delighted to announce the full cast for the first ever revival of Alan Bennett’s The Habit Of Art directed by Philip Franks and starring Matthew Kelly as Fitz (W. H. Auden) and David Yelland as Henry (Benjamin Britten).

Veronica Roberts will be joining the cast in the role of Kay, the Stage Manager, Robert Mountford plays the Author, Neil and John Wark will play Donald (Humphrey Carpenter).

Alexandra Guelff plays the role of George, the Assistant Stage Manager and Benjamin Chandler has been cast as Tim (Stuart).

The Habit Of Art explores friendship, rivalry and heartache, the joy, pain and emotional cost of creativity.  It is centered on a fictional meeting between poet W. H. Auden and composer Benjamin Britten.

Bennett wrote it as a play-within-a-play – actors Fitz, Henry, Tim and Donald are rehearsing a play called Caliban’s Day under the direction of stage manager, Kay, and in the presence of the playwright, Neil. In Caliban’s Day, a fictitious meeting occurs in 1973 in Auden’s (Fitz) rooms at Oxford not long before he dies.  Britten (Henry) has been auditioning boys nearby for his opera Death in Venice, and arrives unexpectedly – their first meeting in 25 years after falling out over the failure of their opera Paul Bunyan.

Alan Bennett’s The Habit Of Art premiered at the National Theatre in November 2009, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Richard Griffiths, Alex Jennings and Frances de la Tour.  The National then toured the production in Autumn 2010 with a new cast led by Desmond Barrit, Malcolm Sinclair and Selina Cadell.

The 2018 tour begins on 30th August, more details here.  

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