Double Bill Opens Hampstead's New YearDate: 30 December 1999
North London's Hampstead Theatre, whose fortunes are currently riding high with an imminent West End transfer for their current sell-out production of Alan Plater's Peggy for You, featuring Maureen Lipman in the role of the late, real-life literary agent Peggy Ramsay (moving to the Comedy Theatre from January 27), have announced their first new production of the New Year, and they're doing things by halves.
Two short plays will be presented in a double-bill: Tasmin Ogleby's My Best Friend will be presented with Peter Tinniswood's On the Whole It's Been Jolly Good, opening on January 31 (following previews from January 27), and running to February 12.
My Best Friend, co-produced with Birmingham Repertory Theatre where the production will transfer to after its London debut, features Eve Matheson (seen in the National Theatre's productions of Richard III, King Lear and The Mysteries), Teresa Banham (seen in the RSC productions of The Herbal Bed and The White Devil) and Sara Crowe (seen in West End productions of Coward's Private Lives, opposite Joan Collilns, and Hay Fever). Set in a French farmhouse, the play concerns the friendship of three woman, now in their early thirties, who have known each other since childhood.
On the Whole It's Been Jolly Good is a one-man play, acclaimed at the last Edinburgh Festival, about a British MP who loses his parliamentary seat after sixty years of sublime incompetence. The MP is played by Leslie Phillips, recently seen as Falstaff in the RSC's production of The Merry Wives of Windsor and in Camino Real.