Page last updated at 07:40 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 08:40 UK

The Habit of Art by Alan Bennett to be shown in cinemas

Alan Bennett
The play is Bennett's first since West End and Broadway hit History Boys

A performance of Alan Bennett's play The Habit of Art will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and Europe.

The 22 April performance from London's National Theatre will also be shown around the world as soon as possible afterwards.

It will be broadcast by satellite to countries including Australia, the US and Canada.

The play, Bennett's first since 2004's History Boys, imagines a meeting between WH Auden and Benjamin Britten.

It opened at the National's Lyttelton Theatre in November and stars Richard Griffiths as poet Auden to Alex Jennings' Britten.

Sir Michael Gambon was originally cast in the role of Auden in the Nicholas Hytner-directed play but he had to pull out before it opened because of ill health.

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