As previously tipped (See The Goss, 27 Apr 2006), Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell will return to the West End next month. Instead of the Old Vic, it will have a limited season at the Garrick Theatre, where it will open on 19 June 2006 (previews from 12 June), initially booking until 2 September 2006.

Keith Waterhouse’s play is based around the recollections of the late Spectator writer Bernard, a legend in the bohemian London district of Soho, notorious for his womanising, gambling and drinking in the Coach and Horses pub.

Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell was last seen in the West End in a sell-out eight-week season at the Old Vic where Peter O'Toole recreated the title role he had originated in 1989 at the Apollo Theatre. Ned Sherrin, who directed the play at the Old Vic, is directing again, with Tom Conti (pictured), who took over from O'Toole back in 1989, starring as Bernard.

Conti's other stage credits include Whose Life Is It Anyway?, for which he won the Olivier, Tony and Variety Club awards for Best Actor, Jesus My Boy and Art in the West End. More recently, he has been seen in The Real Thing and playing another notorious drinker, matinee idol John Barrymore, in One Helluva Life (pictured) on tour. On screen, Conti has starred in films such as Shirley Valentine, Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and Reuben, Reuben, for which he was Oscar-nominated.

Currently at the Garrick Theatre, the limited ten-week return season of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring Hollywood’s Christian Slater and Alex Kingston, finishes as scheduled on 3 June 2006. Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell is produced in the West End by Tom Kinnonmont.

- by Terri Paddock