Stephen Fry will star in an online play to raise funds for the theatre industry

The new radio production is based on a romantic comedy novel

Stephen Fry London's Natural History Museum

Stephen Fry will star in an online radio play to help raise funds for the struggling theatre industry.

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The new production will be an adaptation of the David Nicholls novel The Understudy and co-stars Russell Tovey (Flesh and Blood), Sarah Hadland (Miranda) and Emily Atack (The Inbetweeners).

The romantic comedy tells the story of Stephen, an actor living in the shadow of a big star named Josh Harper, doomed to always be the understudy of a successful play but never get to tread the boards himself.

He goes on to fall in love with Josh’s wife, Nora, which forces him to make a life-changing decision about what’s most important to him: his career or his love life?

Tovey will lend his voice to Stephen and theatre actor Jake Ferretti has been cast in the role of Josh.

The play will be broadcast online on 20th and 27th May, accessible to those who have purchased a ticket for £5. All proceeds will go towards the Theatre Development Trust and other arts-related charities.

Adhering to social distancing rules, all actors will be recording their lines from the safety of their home.

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Other forms of entertainment for theatre fans during lockdown include a new streaming service from Andrew Lloyd-Webber and the release of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show Fleabag on Amazon and Soho Theatre On Demand.