The first ever revival of Alan Bennett’s ‘The Habit of Art’ will come to The Lowry Mon 12 – Sat 17 November. Tickets for the Original Theatre Company and York Theatre Royal production will go on sale Fri 6 April.

Directed by Philip Franks, ‘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 Caddell.

Philip Franks is an award-winning director and has directed shows at the National Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, the Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park, The Edinburgh International Festival, and in the West End. As an actor, Philip Franks has worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, as well as in most of the country’s leading regional theatres. He is well known for his television work such as ‘Bleak House,’ ‘Martin Chuzzlewit,’ ‘Heartbeat‘ and ‘The Darling Buds of May.’

Listings Information 
The Habit of Art 
Dates: Mon 12 – Sat 17 Nov
Times: 8pm. Wed & Sat 2pm.
Tickets: £23.50 – £33.50
Box Office: 0843 208 6000


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