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Jude Law and Lee Evans join cast for Beckett Gala Evening – University of Reading

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Jude Law and Lee Evans join cast for Beckett Gala Evening

Release Date 24 March 2006

Hollywood A-lister Jude Law and comedian Lee Evans will join the cast of stars performing excerpts from the works of Samuel Beckett as part of a charity gala evening at Reading Town Hall on 2 April. The evening is part of the 100-year anniversary celebrations of Beckett's birth being coordinated by the University of Reading. Alan Rickman, Felicity Kendall, Billie Whitelaw, Barry McGovern and Johnny Murphy make up the rest of the impressive line-up whose performances will be directed by Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella. All proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Relief. Professor James Knowlson, Beckett's friend and biographer and one of the organisers of the evening said, 'We are delighted that both Jude Law and Lee Evans will be taking part. As an internationally celebrated actor, Jude's performances never cease to impress and Lee will bring a fantastic comic element to the production. Lee is also familiar with Beckett's work having previously performed with Michael Gambon in Beckett's Endgame at the Albery Theatre in London.' Billie Whitelaw, the award-winning actress for whom Beckett wrote his play Footfalls expressed her pleasure at being invited to take-part in the evening, 'Sam was my dearest friend and colleague and it is an honour to be involved in celebrating the centenary of his birth.' 'I am also pleased the gala evening is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Relief. My father died of cancer when I was 10-years-old and I only wish that Macmillan had existed then to help him through his illness.' The performance will be followed by a drinks reception and auction, sponsored by Prudential. The reception offers a unique opportunity to mingle with the stars and attendees can bid for a range of items from the literary world. Tickets for the gala performance and following drinks reception are on sale now and available from the Reading Town Hall Box Office on 0118 960 60 60. All proceeds will go towards the local Macmillan Cancer Relief benefits advice service appeal. End Macmillan Cancer Relief contact information: For more information on Macmillan Cancer Relief and our local service please visit www.macmillan.org.uk Or phone: For press enquiries: Rachel Barnes, Regional Communications Officer on 01264 343807 or 07834 192211 University of Reading contact information: For further details about the Beckett Centenary exhibitions and events please go to www.beckettfoundation.org.uk. Or phone: For press enquiries: Eleanor Holmes, Press Officer on 0118 378 6166 Editors' notes: About Macmillan Cancer Relief: Macmillan Cancer Relief provides the expert care and emotional support that makes a real difference to people living with cancer. We offer a range of innovative cancer services and are at the heart of improving cancer care throughout the UK. For cancer information and support, contact the Macmillan CancerLine (Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 6.00pm) by freephone: 0808 808 2020, textphone: 0808 808 0121 or email: cancerline@macmillan.org.uk; or log on to www.macmillan.org.uk. We are campaigning to get a better financial deal for people dealing with cancer. Visit http://www.macmillan.org.uk/abetterdeal or call 0800 500 800 for more information about our Better Deal campaign. About Samuel Beckett: A native of Dublin, Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) stands as one of the towering dramatists and writers of the twentieth century. In his searing theatrical images and prose writings, Beckett achieved a spare beauty and timeless vision of human suffering, shot through with dark comedy and humour. His 1969 Nobel Prize citation praised him for 'a body of work that in new forms of fiction and the theatre has transmuted the destitution of modern man into his exaltation'. Beckett is the figure who, perhaps more than any other writer or intellectual in mid-century Europe, articulated the crisis of civilization of the post-War era. His body of work include the plays Waiting for Godot, Play and End Game. About the University of Reading: The University of Reading's Beckett Collection is the world's largest archive solely dedicated to the writer. In 1988, 'The Beckett International Foundation' was set up as a charitable trust with the University as Trustee and since then has served the international Beckett community through its conferences, publications and related events. The University of Reading is one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. Founded in the nineteenth century and gaining a Royal Charter in 1926, we offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, social sciences and fine art. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into undergraduate teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise. For further information visit www.reading.ac.uk.

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