TWO of the UK’s leading theatre names, Simon Callow and Jane Asher, are currently starring in a sparkling new production of Noël Coward’s A Song At Twilight, and local theatregoers will be able to see them this week.

The play will be at Malvern’s Festival Theatre from tomorrow (Monday, March 25) to Saturday, March 30 as part of a UK tour.

Bitter-sweet and hugely entertaining, this is a rare chance to see one of Coward's final pieces of work.

It sees world famous author Sir Hugo Latymer growing old, rude and haughty. In the private suite of a lakeside hotel he is attended to by his long-suffering wife and former secretary, Hilde, and Felix, a handsome young waiter, as he nervously awaits the arrival of an old flame, actress Carlotta Gray, with whom he enjoyed a two-year love affair more than forty years ago.

What can she possibly want now?

Revenge for his uncharitable characterisation of her in his recent autobiography? Money to compensate for her second-rate acting career in the States? But as Sir Hugo discovers, it turns out Carlotta is writing her own memoir and wants something much more significant than cash.

First staged in the West End in 1966, Noël Coward himself made his stage farewell in A Song At Twilight playing the semi-autobiographical role of Sir Hugo.

Full of sharp wit and repartee, this compelling drama poignantly explores the risk of harbouring secrets and the regret of missed opportunities.

Simon Callow stars as Sir Hugo Latymer. One of the UK’s favourite actors, his numerous film credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, The Phantom of the Opera and others, while his many television roles include Tom Chance in the Channel 4 series Chance in a Million, Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield and Charles Dickens in Doctor Who.

On stage his list of credits is immense, having performed extensively at the RSC, National Theatre, Royal Court and in the West End.

Worcestershire audiences will possibly remember his outstanding performance at Malvern when he toured in Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, prior to the West End.

Jane Asher, who stars as Carlotta Gray, is one of the UK’s most accomplished actresses. Her recent screen appearances include Holby City playing Lady Byrne; the comedy I Give It A Year; Stephen Poliakoff's five-part BBC drama Dancing on the Edge; CBBC’s sci-fi series Eve; and the BBC1 sitcom The Old Guys.

Having worked in film and television as a child, Jane’s numerous credits over the past seven decades also include Alice in Wonderland, The Quartermass Xperiment, Alfie, The Palace and Brideshead Revisited.

In the role of Hilde Latymer will be Jessica Turner, who has performed many times at the National Theatre working with directors Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn and Richard Eyre. Her television credits include Doctor Finlay, Prime Suspect, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, The Line of Beauty, New Tricks and Father Brown.

The cast is completed by Ash Rizi as Felix, whose television credits include Luther, EastEnders, Drifters, Silent Witness and Unforgotten.