Sykes & Abbot Star in London Wife while Ex ToursDate: 25 July 2001
Ray Cooney's farcical sequel Run for your Wife 2 - Caught in the Act will play at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre from 29 August 2001. Eric Sykes (pictured) and Russ Abbot will head the London cast. Meanwhile, the original Run for your Wife will head out on an autumn tour from 8 October 2001.
The UK tour dates, which commence at Horsham Arts Centre, will feature TV stars Jeffrey Holland of Hi-de-Hi fame, EastEnder Sophie Lawrence and Brookside's Eric Potts. The touring production is directed by Ian Dickens.
Written by Cooney (and first performed) in 1983, Run for your Wife has since become a popular production around the world. It opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London with Richard Briers and Bernard Cribbins, and was Olivier-nominated for Best Play in the same year. The story centres on a London taxi driver, whose concussion results in a whole host of mishaps.
The sequel finds the taxi driver's deceptions beginning to catch up with him, leading to a mad effort to cover his tracks. Originally premiered at Windsor's Theatre Royal last August under the name Run for your Wife Again, the cast boasts two of Britain's most enduring comic actors in Sykes and Abbot.
A familiar face on television since the 1950s, Sykes rose to prominence via his eponymous sitcom Sykes. His lengthy career in showbusiness includes the films Theatre of Blood and Splitting Heirs. He was most recently seen on stage in the touring production of Charley's Aunt. Abbot has starred in numerous pantomime seasons over the years and has also hosted his own BBC TV comedy series. His stage credits include playing Fagin in Oliver! and the lead in Doctor Dolittle.
Cooney's other works include Wife Begins at Forty, Out of Order and It Runs in the Family. He is also rumoured to be involved with the London production of Moon Over Buffalo, which is expected to see a West End return for actress Joan Collins.
Following the Horsham dates, the Run for your Wife tour calls at Peterborough, Lowestoft, Weston-super-Mare, Stevenage, Oldham and Darlington. A venue for mid-October 2001 is still awaiting confirmation.
- by Gareth Thompson