See How They Set West End Closure Date, 28 OctDate: 8 September 2006
See How They Run has confirmed its closure date next month at the Duchess Theatre, where it makes way for the return of Stones in His Pockets (See News, 5 Sep 2006). Following a regional tour earlier this year, Douglas Hodge’s revival of Philip King’s wartime farce transferred to the West End, opening on 29 June 2006 (previews from 20 June). It will finish at the end of its current booking period, on 28 October 2006, after a four-month run and ahead of a second tour in spring 2007.
In the idyllic village of Merton-cum-Middlewick, where the village inhabitants are preparing themselves for the imminent threat of Nazi invasion, resident nosy-parker and spinster Miss Skillon becomes convinced that her beloved vicar’s actress wife is having an affair and attempts to expose her. Add an escaped German prisoner of war, a handsome actor, the visiting Bishop of Lax, a rotund locum priest and some meddling neighbours and you have all the ingredients for a classic British comedy.
Written in 1942, See How They Run premiered in Peterborough in 1944 before touring the country three times and, still in the midst of the Second World War, transferring to the Comedy Theatre in 1945 – three doodle bugs fell on London on the play’s opening night. It’s credited as the original “English vicar” play and inspired the long-running TV comedy series Dad’s Army.
A real family affair, the West End production features Nancy Carroll and her off-stage husband Jo Stone-Fewings, along with the couple’s own dog Digby, who puts in two cameo onstage appearances during the comedy’s chase sequences. The ensemble cast also includes Tim Pigott-Smith, Julie Legrand, Nicholas Blane, Adrian Fear, Natalie Grady, Chris MacDonnell and Nicholas Rowe.
See How They Run is directed by actor-director Douglas Hodge, who’s been doing double duty this summer when he’s also been appearing on stage himself in the Globe’s Titus Andronicus (See News, 28 Apr 2006). The comedy is designed by Tim Shortall, with lighting by Ben Ormerod and sound by Fergus O’Hare. It’s produced in the West End by Matthew Byam Shaw, Nica Burns, Max Weitzenhoffer and Ian Lenagan.
- by Terri Paddock