Playwright-director-producer Ray Cooney, who received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List (See News, 31 Dec 2004), is widening his net. Cooney is best known for his hit farces, amongst them Run for Your Wife! and its 2001 sequel Caught in the Net as well as Tom, Dick and Harry, which is hoping for a West End run later this year (See News, 17 Nov 2004). He’s now working on a comedy of a different sort, a musical comedy, that is. Fluctuating between 2005 London and 1929 Chicago, Time’s Up tells the story of a young lawyer who goes to a hypnotherapist in an effort to quit smoking. While in a trance, he regresses to a previous life full of gangsters and ragtime music. Cooney, who has written the book and taken on directing responsibilities, has teamed up with composer Keith Strachan and lyricist Mary Stewart-David on the musical, which also has choreography by Carole Todd. A special workshop performance is being held at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre on Sunday 16 January 2005, and Cooney has invited Whatsonstage.com theatregoers to come along, see the show and take part in the creative process. After the performance, Cooney and the rest of the creative team and cast will hold a discussion with audience members to get their feedback. Tickets cost just £5, which includes free wine to get those critical faculties in gear. For more information and to book, click here. (Note: Whatsonstage.com Club members can attend for free!)