Quentin Debuts as Director in Dead FunnyDate: 1 September 1998
Actress Caroline Quentin makes her directorial debut this month at Watford's Palace Theatre with Terry Johnson's Dead Funny, which launches the theatre's 90th anniversary season. The new production runs 8 to 26 September 1998, with previews from 4 September.
Quentin was personally asked by the author to direct the award-winning play - a prospect she describes as 'truly scary' - after being directed by him in Edward Ravenscroft's Restoration comedy The London Cuckolds, which has just finished its run at the National Theatre. Quentin is best known for her television roles in sitcoms such as Men Behaving Badly, Kiss Me Kate and Jonathan Creek. Other stage credits include An Evening with Gary Lineker in the West End.
Dead Funny takes a humorous look at a married couple, their sexual problems and the husband's obsession with dead comedians. Johnson previously directed Dead Funny for successful runs at the Hampstead Theatre as well as the West End's Vaudeville and Savoy Theatres, winning Critics' Circle, Writers' Guild and Time Out awards for best play. Dead Funny is the second play in a trilogy about sex and comedy that started with Unsuitable Adults. The final play in the trilogy, Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, goes behind the scenes of the Carry On mystique. It opens this month at the National Theatre.
Johnson's other plays include Insignificance which he recently directed at the Donmar Warehouse, and Hysteria which won the 1993 Olivier Award for Best Comedy and was revived as part of the Royal Court Classics season. He also adapted The London Cuckolds.
The five-strong cast for Dead Funny at the Palace Theatre includes Robin Soans, another London Cuckolds veteran, whose other stage credits include The Invention of Love (RNT) and The Country Wife (RSC).
Comedienne Helen Atkinson Wood, nominated for Top Female Comedy Performer in both 1992 and 1993 at the British Comedy Awards, also stars along with Andrew Hall, Liza Hayden and Andy Taylor. Design is by Sue Plummer.