Haig Stars in UK Tour of Elton's GaspingDate: 26 January 2000
Ben Elton's 1990 satirical comedy on corporate culture, Gasping, embarks on its first UK-wide tour this week. The revised version of the play, starring David Haig and Neil Stacy, opens Thursday 27 January at Bromley's Churchill Theatre and continues to 19 venues until 10 June.
Gasping was the debut play from award-winning writer and comedian Elton whose other stage credits include Blast from the Past and Popcorn, which won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Gasping was first performed at the West End's Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1990, starring Hugh Laurie and Bernard Hill. In 1998, Elton worked with director Paul Jepson to update the script for a New Labour setting and a run at the Palace Theatre, Watford.
Bright young marketing exec Philip hatches the idea which soon starts to earn serious money for his boss, Sir Chiffley Lockheart. Following a ruthless advertising campaign, the new 'suck and blow' - a machine for personalised, de-toxed, pure air - takes off. But overnight success leads to a global crisis. When it comes, ultimately, to cash flow versus air flow, Philip discovers his conscience.
David Haig, who plays Philip, is well known for his many TV and film appearances, including Four Weddings and a Funeral and the BBC's The Thin Blue Line. On stage, he starred in Yasmina Reza's Art in both the West End and on Broadway. Stacy, who plays Lockheart, recently starred in the double bill of Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound and Peter Shaffer's Black Comedy in the West End and on tour. Stacy's numerous TV appearances include Duty Free, The House of Windsor and Three Up Two Down.
Haig and Stacy are joined by Stephen Mapes and Iona Grant. Gasping is directed by Paul Jepson with designs by Christopher Oram.
Following Bromley, Gasping will visit Woking, Malvern, Richmond, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Coventry, Canterbury, Manchester, York, Wolverhampton, Brighton, Cambridge, Blackpool, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Oxford, Sheffield and Bath.