A photo of Paul Jesson in hiking clothing, standing in a coastal Devon landscape.

An Actor Convalescing In Devon

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You are welcome to an Open Rehearsal for one night only prior to the World Premiere at Hampstead Theatre 5 Apr – 11 May 2024.

Tickets: Free

If you would like to make a contribution towards the cost of mounting this performance, there will be a collection on the night.


The play – An Actor takes a train journey from Waterloo to Devon to spend a weekend with an old friend there. With wit and charm he shares his stories and thoughts about Shakespeare, friends, his career, loss and the trials of his own health. Written specially for Paul Jesson, it is a play about the healing power of art and the healing art of theatre.

The Actor – Paul Jesson began his career at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre with the then artistic director Jane Howell. Double Olivier Award-winner and an RSC Associate, he has played leading roles with the RSC and the National Theatre. His television and film work includes Ralph Fiennes‘ film of Coriolanus, Mike Leigh‘s Mr Turner and Sir Geoffrey Howe in The Crown.

The WriterRichard Nelson is an award-winning playwright, Honorary Associate Artist of the RSC and sometime chair of the Playwriting Department of the Yale School of Drama. His plays include Two Shakespearean Actors, Some Americans Abroad, Goodnight Children Everywhere and Our Life in Art.

The DirectorClarissa Brown first worked with Paul Jesson and Richard Nelson at the RSC where she was based for over seven years as AD, Staff and Associate Director, winning Best New Play of The Year Award for David Edgar’s Pentecost. Collaborating on new work has been central to her career.

My doctor said to me, “What do you think you have?” Michael was with me. I said “I think it’s cancer.” He’d let me be the first to say that word. It gave me at least a momentary sense of control

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