The play, which is directed by NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner, centers on an imagined meeting between former friends W.H. Auden (Gambon) and Benjamin Britten (Jennings) during their twilight years, when the poet was living in Oxford during the early 1960s. The two had collaborated earlier in their lives, but drifted apart after a falling out in the 1940s. Bennett's plays include the multi-award winning The History Boys, Habeas Corpus, The Madness of George III and Enjoy.
Gambon's numerous theatrical credits include No Man's Land and Skyliight; Jennings' many stage credits include Present Laughter and Stuff Happens, and de la Tour is best known for her role in the stage and film versions of The History Boys, for which she earned numerous honors, including the Tony Award.