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The Philanthropist Poster

The Philanthropist

Closed July 22, 2017

"It is about a man who cannot tell a lie so he cannot do all of the things we all do socially and all the clever pretences we make in our lives."

Simon Callow

Why See The Philanthropist?

long awaited return

Simon Callow directs a starry host of characters in this revival of Christopher Hampton's bourgeois comedy response to Moliere's Misanthrope. First shown at the Royal Court in 1970, this witty play centers on the hapless Phillip, an academic with a compulsive need to please everyone he comes into contact with. In a change from previous productions, that would usually cast older actors in the roles in the misplaced belief that younger people couldn't possibly handle sharp comedy, Callow's cast is led by The Inbetweeners' Simon Bird, Fresh Meat's Charlotte Richie and includes a West End debut from real life philanthropist and model Lily Cole.

Set in a unnamed English University Town, The Philanthropist follow's Phillip's attempts to navigate society, academia, friendships and romance without even being able to tell even a little white lie to protect himself. Surrounding him are his malicious yet beautiful fiancee Celia (Ritchie) and best friend Donald (Tom Rosenthal). When a dinner party invites an rambunctious writer (Matt Berry) and a nubile femme fatale Araminta (Cole) into this sphere, Phillips attempts at mediation are met with catastrophic results. Or are they? Because the cosy bubble of academia would be the perfect place to hide whilst the world outside is crumbling into chaos wouldn't it?

Decidedly clever with shades of Stoppard and of course referencing Moliere, the Philanthropist is a highly entertaining play that aims to please both regular and first time theatre goers.

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Additional Information


Previews from: 3 April 2017

Opening night: 20 April 2017

Cast and Creative


Simon Bird as Phillip
Tom Rosenthal as Donald
Matt Berry as Braham
Charlotte Ritchie as Celia
Lily Cole as Araminta
Rest of Cast TBC


Written by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Simon Callow

What we thought

CLEVER Dinnerparty comedy

an intriguing and relatable experience

​Part breezy after dinner comedy, part meaty philosophical satire in the vein of Stoppard, I felt Christopher Hampton's play benefited enormously from the casting.

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Kitty McCarron

Kitty McCarron

What you thought

1 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

5.0 star rating

Neal Caffrey : “The Philanthropist ”

Great performance by an exceptional cast. Simon Bird was perfectly cast... more

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