Branagh & Right Size Open at Wyndham's, 5 NovDate: 24 August 2001
Kenneth Branagh's direction of The Right Size's The Play What I Wrote, will be the first new production in the West End's Wyndham's Theatre in five years. It replaces Yasmina Reza's long-running comedy Art which is moving down the road. The Play What I Wrote, inspired by comedians Morecambe and Wise, premieres at Liverpool's Everyman & Playhouse on 27 September 2001, before transferring to the West End. It opens at Wyndham's on 5 November 2001, following previews from 19 October. Tickets go on sale from Tuesday 28 August.
Art will in turn replace The Blues Brothers at the Whitehall Theatre. David Pugh, producer of The Play What I Wrote and Art, told Whatsonstage.com that he was "ecstatic and excited" about both productions and that the changed residence would give Art a new lease of life for further success. He described the Right Size venture as "the most exciting piece I've worked on since Art arrived".
The Play What I Wrote was one of the many catchphrases used by legendary comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise in their double act. The new production portrays two comedians who are approached to perform a tribute show to Morecambe and Wise, but refuse. Although the show may bear the spirit of Morecambe and Wise, it is being billed as very much a Right Size offering. The evenings are expected to feature an array of special celebrity guests.
Olivier-award winners The Right Size are comprised of Sean Foley and Hamish McColl. Their recent production, Bewilderness, co-starred Freddie Jones and played at the Lyric Hammersmith in May 2001. The duo's earlier acclaimed comedy Do You Come Here Often transferred from Edinburgh to the West End, and won the 1999 Olivier for Best Entertainment. It also met with considerable success playing at PS122 Off-Broadway.
In addition to directing this production, Kenneth Branagh will be making a stage acting comeback next year in the Sheffield Crucible's version of Richard III. His last stage work was the RSC's 1992 production of Hamlet, and his theatre career has embraced Another Country, Look Back in Anger and Golden Girls. A major Shakespeare interpreter on screen, Branagh's film acting and directing offerings include Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and Love's Labour's Lost.
- by Gareth Thompson