La Bête, meaning the Beast, is a play by David Hirson which premiered on Broadway in 1991 and is now showing in London before it goes back to Broadway in October 2010.
The Molière-inspired comedy is set in 17th century France and has big names in the cast such as David Hyde Pierce, from Frasier, as Elomire and Joanna Lumley as the fickle princess. Theatrically minded Elomire is head of the royal court-sponsored theatre troupe and is pitted against Valere (Mark Rylance), a low-brow street clown who loves himself more than anything.The two have a literary showdown for their survival when the princess grows tired of the theatre troupe and they have to perform one of Valere’s own plays.
La Bête opened in London on June 26 and will stay there until September 4 before it transfers to Broadway. This is a great opportunity to see some great artists at work.
Update: The press screening for La Bete was on 7 July and following that the Guardian didn’t even provide an entire review. Three paragraphs were added to a review of three events. Be warned that they were more impressed with Mark Rylance and had little to say about David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley.
Ticket prices range from £15 to £50. Booking Information.
La Bete, Comedy Theatre, Panton St SW1