Cooney Pens Chas & Dave Musical for West EndDate: 10 September 2010
Abba, Queen, Take That, Michael Jackson and, coming up, the Spice Girls are amongst those who have had their back catalogues turned into musicals, and now - perhaps more surprisingly - it's the turn of 'rockney' duo Chas & Dave, care of "master of farce" Ray Cooney.
Stop Dreamin', which has songs from the duo and a book by Cooney, premieres next month at the Theatre Royal Windsor and will then visit the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ahead of a planned West End transfer in spring 2011.
Best known for songs such as their 1982 number two hit "Ain't No Pleasing You", sporting satire "Snooker Loopy" and "Rabbit", Charles Hodges and David Peacock came to prominence in the 1970s as prolific session musicians. Their debut album One Fing 'n' Anuvver was released in 1975, earning critical acclaim from the likes of Radio 1 legend John Peel. The pair split last year, following the death of Peacock's wife Sue from cancer, but announced in July that they will be reuniting for a "final" UK tour.
Ray Cooney is one of Britain’s best known comedy playwrights and directors with more than 20 West End credits to his name. His work has been absent from the West End for some time, however, with his play Caught in the Net, performed at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2001. Tom, Dick & Harry, co-written with his son Michael, recieved a short run at the Duke of York's Theatre in 2005.
Billed as a "feelgood comedy about family, love and the inspirational power of music", Stop Dreamin''s cast will be led by Cliff Parisi, best known for his role as Minty in Eastenders, a character he played for eight years. He's joined by Trevor Bannister, famous for his long-running role in Are You Being Served? and Allo Allo's Vicki Michelle. Also in the cast are Louise Jameson (Doctor Who), Royce Mills and Daisy Wood-Davis (both Dreamboats and Petticoats).
Stop Dreamin' plays the Theatre Royal, Windsor from 13 to 23 October followed by the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford from 27 October to 6 November 2010.