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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
Matt Damon heads for West End
Matt Damon (L) shared his Oscar with Ben Affleck
Matt Damon (L) shared his Oscar with Ben Affleck
Oscar winner Matt Damon is to make his West End debut in Kenneth Lonergan's This is Our Youth.

He will be joined at the Garrick Theatre by Casey Affleck, brother of Ben, and Summer Phoenix, sister of Joaquin and the late River.

The American trio will replace Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen, Oscar winner Anna Paquin and Jake Gyllenhaal.

This Is Our Youth is a coming-of-age tale set in the 1980s.

The new cast will take over from 22 April until 15 June.

Matt Damon is best known for Good Will Hunting, which he starred in and wrote with Ben Affleck.

Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen will soon be seen in Star Wars Episode Two
The pair picked up a best screenplay Oscar and Robin Williams won the best supporting actor Academy Award for his part in the film.

It was also nominated for seven others in 1998, including a best actor nomination for Damon.

Set in a scruffy one-room apartment, This Is Our Youth follows three Jewish New Yorkers from rich families.

The play has had already had strong reviews.

BBC News Online's Ian Youngs said: "This Is Our Youth shines, thanks to the script by relative newcomer Lonergan, whose talent has been leapt upon by theatre and film worlds alike."

Real life couple

Damon's other major hits include Saving Private Ryan, Ocean's Eleven and The Talented Mr Ripley.

Casey Affleck also appeared in Ocean's Eleven and Good Will Hunting.

Summer Phoenix has starred in The Faculty and Dinner Rush.

As well as appearing as lovers on stage, Casey Affleck and Phoenix are a couple in real life.

Playwright Lonergan was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay You Can Count on Me in 2001.

He is also credited with writing Hollywood movies Analyze This and the yet-to-be-released Gangs of New York.

See also:

19 Mar 02 | Reviews
Hollywood hopefuls recapture youth
22 Mar 01 | Reviews
Counting on Lonergan
28 Feb 01 | Entertainment
$1m contest for Hollywood big break
01 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Stars pick $1m movie winner
29 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Good Will stars' fishy venture
17 Dec 99 | Entertainment
'Blasphemous' movie sparks protest
17 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
Hollywood braced for the future
02 May 00 | UK
22m boost for British films
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