Kenneth Branagh Toplines Cast for His U.K. Theatre Company's Painkiller | Playbill

News Kenneth Branagh Toplines Cast for His U.K. Theatre Company's Painkiller The French farce makes its London bow today,

Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon star in the March 17 London premiere of Francis Veber's French farce The Painkiller at the West End's Garrick Theatre.

Branagh and Brydon, who are reprising the performances they first gave in at Belfast's Lyric Theatre in 2011, is joined by Claudie Blakley, Marcus Fraser, Mark Hadfield and Alex Macqueen in the production, which is directed and adapted by Sean Foley,. It began preview performances March 5 and is scheduled to run through April 30.

In a press statement, Foley commented, "The Painkiller proved to be a very funny evening in the theatre in its first incarnation at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. I'm delighted to have the chance to further develop this comedy with the remarkable double act of Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon, who, together with the brilliant Mark Hadfield, were a joy to direct in the first production. I know that they are excited as I am to also be welcoming to our cast the extraordinary talents of Claudie Blakley, Marcus Fraser and Alex Macqueen, and we will all be working as hard as possible to bring this darkly hilarious farce to explosive life for London audiences."

Blakely was most recently seen on the London stage in Rules for Living, The Cherry Orchard and Attempts on her Life. Her other extensive theatre credits include appearances at the Almieda, Hampstead Theatre, Royal Court, RSC, and Sheffield Crucible.

Hadfield was seen in the West End last year in Made in Dagenham. Other West End credits include Pefect Nonsense, Uncle Vanya and frequent appearances with the RSC.

Macqueen has been seen in Two Bears – A Response to Two Kings (Bush Theatre) and The Laws of War (Royal Court). Fraser recently graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The Painkiller marks his professional debut.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 482 9673 or visit

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