New Waterhouse Comedy Bing-Bong PremieresDate: 4 March 1999
The world premiere of Keith Waterhouse's new comedy, Bing Bong opens this Thursday, 4 March, at the Gateway Theatre in Chester before embarking on a three-month, 12-stop national tour and an expected West End transfer.
Bing Bong explores the working relationship of a television sitcom writing partnership struggling to find the inspiration for their latest series. In the cut-throat TV business, success has begun to elude Bell and Banks. To ease the tension and jealousy, the pair frantically bounce gags off each other, their assistant and their agent. But, despite the seeming frivolity, dark secrets soon emerge from the banter.
Television star Dennis Waterman plays 'Bell'. Waterman has starred in numerous British television series including The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil, Minder and The Sweeney. His stage credits include Waterhouse's Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, Same Time Next Year, A Slice of Saturday Night and Fools Rush In.
His writing partner 'Banks' is played by Patrick Mower, whose television credits include Callan, Special Branch, Target and Haunted. Mower has appeared recently in stage in Crazy for You and Boogie Nights. The pair's agent 'Max' is played by Harry Towb, a veteran of the RSC and RNT whose credits include Guys & Dolls, Death of a Salesman, Brighton Beach Memoirs and The Iceman Cometh. Personal assistant 'Sandra' is played by Kate McGeever, who appeared most recently in the Crucible and National Theatre co-production of Brassed Off.
Bing Bong reunites, for the sixth time, Waterhouse and director Ned Sherrin. Waterhouse is famous for his novels and plays such as Billy Liar and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell. Sherrin is well-known as the presenter of the popular Radio Four programme Loose Ends, now in its fourteenth season. As a director, Sherrin's stage credits include A Passionate Woman, Salad Days and Side by Side by Sondheim. Bing Bong is designed by Olivier Award-winning designer Tim Goodchild.
Waterhouse, Sherrin and Goodchild last collaborated on Good Grief, adapted from Waterhouse's best-selling comic novel. Starring Penelope Keith, that show also toured nationally in September and October of last year and was expected to transfer to the West End.
Bing Bong plays at the Chester Gateway Theatre until 27 March and then continues to Barnstaple, Cambridge, Lincoln, Croydon, Guildford, Norwich, Peterborough, Bath, Eastbourne, Darlington and Cheltenham.