1st Night TV: Lucas & New Prick West End's EarsDate: 1 October 2009
Little Britain star Matt Lucas made his West End play debut last night (30 September 2009, previews from 17 September) as Joe Orton’s lover-murderer Kenneth Halliwell in Prick Up Your Ears at the Comedy Theatre (See Today’s 1st Night Photos).
Prick Up Your Ears - a darkly comic play inspired by Orton's diaries and the John Lahr biography of the same name (also the inspiration for Stephen Frears' 1987 film, scripted by Alan Bennett) - examines the relationship between the two writers which ended tragically in 1967 when Kenneth Halliwell bludgeoned Orton (played by Chris New) to death before committing suicide.
The play imagines what really happened when, after years of creative collaboration, the door slammed shut and Halliwell was home alone. It tells the story behind the domestic life of the two men, holed up in a tiny flat in Islington, trading well-trodden insults and hilarious put-downs like any old married couple.
To coincide with Prick Up Your Ears’ West End opening, our TV partners at Reelkandi paid a visit to the Comedy Theatre to chat to Matt Lucas and Chris New for this video feature, which also includes exclusive performance extracts from the show.
Prick Up Your Ears, which arrives in the West End following a regional tour, is directed by Daniel Kramer and co-stars [Gwen Taylor as Orton and Halliwell’s neighbour, Mrs Corden. It’s produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Kim Poster for Stanhope Productions and Lee Menzies, and is currently booking at the Comedy until 6 December 2009.