Frayn s Alarms Opens at Gielgud, 14 SeptDate: 29 July 1998
The Gielgud Theatre has been confirmed as the venue for the West End transfer of Michael Frayn's new play Alarms and Excursions. As scheduled, the play will open 14 September 1998 (with previews from 10 September).
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 where she appeared in Waste and The Seagull. 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 also appeared in Peter Hall's An Ideal Husband at the Old Vic and on Broadway. He is best known to television audiences in The Preston Front and Shine on Harvey Moon. The cast also features Robert Bathurst whose most recent stage work was as a serial killer in Good Copy at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Director 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 is a columnist, translator, novelist and playwright. His 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.
Designs for Alarms and Excursions are by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by John Leonard. It is produced by Michael Codron and Lee Dean.
Alarms and Excursions kicked off a four-stop UK tour on 15 July, visiting Guildford, Newcastle, Bath and Malvern before arriving in London.