Kendal & Lawrence Star in Frayn ShortsDate: 26 June 1998
Playwright Michael Frayn, whose Copenhagen has been playing at the Royal National Theatre since May, will have two major productions on the London stage when his latest offering, Alarms and Excursions, hits town in the autumn. A venue has yet to be announced but producers have confirmed that the play will arrive in the West End 14 September following a four-stop UK tour that kicks off 15 July.
The new production covers much different ground from the dramatic Copenhagen which focuses on the 1941 meeting between German physicist Werner Heisenberg and his old friend Niels Bohr. Alarms and Excursions is a comic collection of eight short pieces which take a wry look at our uneasy relationship with modern day gadgets and gizmos that are supposed to make our lives easier.
Alarms and Excursions , directed by Michael Blakemore, boasts an illustrious cast which includes Felicity Kendal, Josie Lawrence and Nicky Henson.
Felicity Kendal, best known for TV's The Good Life, has also had a long stage career. Recent work includes the Peter Hall season at the Old Vic. She also stars in the forthcoming film Parting Shots and her autobiography White Cargo is published by Penguin in September.
Josie Lawrence, who is renowned for her appearances in the improvisational TV series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, has won several major stage awards for her Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Kate in Taming of the Shrew (RSC). Nicky Henson has played numerous roles at the RSC and RNT and recently starred in the musical Enter the Guardsman at the Donmar Warehouse. He is best known to television audiences in The Preston Front and Shine on Harvey Moon.
Michael Blakemore has had a long association with Michael Frayn. He recently directed Copenhagen; previous collaborations include Frayn's Benefactors and Noises Off in both the West End and on Broadway.
Frayn's stage plays include Alphabetical Order, Make and Break and Noises Off, all of which received Evening Standard Awards for Best Comedy of the Year and Benefactors which received the Evening Standard Award for Best Play of the Year. His translated work includes The Cherry Orchard and Wild Honey for the National, Three Sisters, The Seagull and Uncle Vanya. He has published eight novels, a volume of philosophy and wrote the screenplays for Clockwise, starring John Cleese, and First and Last which won an international Emmy Award.
Alarms and Excursions tours to Guildford (15 - 25 July), Newcastle (27 July - 1 August), Bath (3 - 8 August) and Malvern (31 August - 5 September) prior to transferring to the West End.