THE director of an updated version of "The Entertainer", which is coming to Malvern Theatres in September, believes he is offering a play for our times.

Sean O'Connor said: “Osborne’s story of a man who faces the end of his career in the declining days of a popular art form, in the context of Britain struggling to establish its place on the international stage, has never seemed more relevant or more timely.

"Against the backdrop of the Falklands War of 1982, the satirical new world of alternative comedy has dismissed Archie’s style of humour and his sort of act as old–fashioned and even offensive. The mother-in-law joke has been outlawed and a generation of entertainers like Archie have suddenly found themselves irrelevant."

Sean added: "At the same time, in the wake of recent abuse scandals, a certain cultural attitude- and a certain sort of man- has been exposed as outmoded and redundant; this is an Entertainer for 2019.

"It’s a tribute to Osborne’s genius that this play resonates beyond the historical moment it was written in and speaks to us directly today with such prescience, power and truth. It’s the state of the nation play, but it’s also a moving examination of family and failure as well as a defiant roar in the face of the relentless inevitability of change."

Sean added: I’m hugely excited to bring this new vision of one of the 20th century’s finest plays to the stage and completely thrilled to have secured Shane Richie – one of the great entertainers of today- to play one of the most iconic roles in British theatre.”

Shane Richie will play ‘Archie Rice’ in this brand-new production The Entertainer. Sara Crowe joins the cast to play Phoebe Rice and Diana Vickers to play Jean Rice.

Shane Richie has been a regular fixture on prime time television hosting such shows as Lucky Numbers (ITV), The Shane Richie Experience (ITV) and Win, Lose or Draw (ITV).

The Entertainer will enjoy a run at Malvern Theatres from Monday September 9 to Saturday September 14.

Tickets: 01684 892277