Ray Cooney (pictured) will tonight join the cast of his own West End comedy, Caught in the Net, for three weeks. The director and playwright, who has also worked extensively as an actor, will perform the role played by Eric Sykes, while the latter takes a short break up to 26 March.

The comedy has also just announced another extension. The show opened at the Vaudeville Theatre on 29 August 2001 (following previews from 20 August) and had been booking up to 30 March 2002. It is has now extended its booking period by three months to 29 June 2002.

First staged in 1983, Run for Your Wife has become an enduring favourite 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 bout of concussion results in a whole host of mishaps.

Caught in the Net is the sequel to Cooney’s ever-popular 1983 farce, Run for Your Wife. It finds bigamist taxi driver John Smith's deceptions beginning to catch up with him when his teenage son from one marriage happens to meet the teenage daughter from the other on the Internet - 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, Caught in the Net also stars comedian Russ Abbot as well as Robert Duncan (best known as windbag "Gus Hedges" from the BBC sitcom Drop the Dead Donkey) who takes over from Robert Dawes as John Smith. Also in the cast are Carol Hawkins, Helen Gill, William Harry and Beccy Armory.

Caught in the Net is written and directed by Cooney and designed by Douglas Heap, with lighting by Douglas Kurht. It is produced in the West End by Bill Kenwright.

- by Terri Paddock