Veteran comic Tim Brooke-Taylor will star in Derek Benfield's farce Bedside Manners this Autumn, on a three month UK tour. The production opens at Truro Cornwall Hall on 4 September 2001, before playing at a further 12 venues through to 1 December 2001.

Benfield's story concerns an inexperienced hotelier, Ferris, looking after his sister's seedy hostelry. Unfortunately for his peace of mind, two couples with secret assignations planned both arrive on the same weekend. As Ferris begins to realise what is occurring under his roof, he strives to keep them apart with drastic results.

Tim Brooke-Taylor is one of the most famous faces, and voices, on British TV and radio. Whilst studying at Cambridge he joined the Footlights Revue Club, where he first performed with the likes of Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden, John Cleese and Eric Idle. Their 1962 revue was produced by Trevor Nunn, who later directed Brooke-Taylor in Much Ado About Nothing and Ibsen’s Brand. The Revue also transferred to the West End.

A varied career on stage and screen followed, but Brooke-Taylor’s major public breakthrough came with the popular, offbeat TV comedy The Goodies. The shows achieved worldwide status, and also starred Footlights Oddie and Garden. Brooke-Taylor has since performed in numerous West End works, including The Unvarnished Truth, Run For Your Wife and The Philanthropist. He is also a regular on BBC Radio’s legendary panel game I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

Other members of the cast include Kim Hartman, Amanda Redington and Geoffrey Davies. Hartman’s early career took her to the Chichester Festival Theatre and the Bristol Old Vic. She rose to popularity via the TV sitcom ‘Allo, ‘Allo (in which she played Helga in all 96 epsidoes) and also the stage version of the series. Redington may be best known for her TV presenting stints, but she has also played the role of Sandy in Grease and starred in several pantomimes.

Geoffrey Davies trained at RADA, and featured in the TV series Doctor in the House and Doctor at Large. His theatre credits include Ghost Train (West End), Murder in Mind (Guildford & West End), Run For Your Wife (Eastbourne & London Whitehall) and And Then There Were None (Duke of York’s). Playwright Derek Benfield also attended RADA and is a notable stage and screen presence. His first stage play was The Young In Heart, with other works including Caught on the Hop, Beyond a Joke and Second Time Around.

Following the Truro opening dates, Bedside Manners will call at Cheltenham, Dartford, Northampton, Southend-on-Sea, Norwich, Plymouth, Eastbourne, Crewe, Guildford, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Buxton.

- by Gareth Thompson