Brian Cooke, the last still living member of the original writing team of the 1960s radio comedy series, has written and adapted the new stage play based on two live radio episodes as well as previously unheard material by Cooke and his former partners, Barry Took, Marty Feldman and Johnnie Mortimer (See News, 9 Dec 2003).
In the original Round the Horne, the mad-cap bunch of comedians - Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Horne, Douglas Smith and Betty Marsden –mercilessly sent up the establishment. Directed by Michael Kingsbury, the current West End cast for the stage version features Charles Armstrong, Kate Brown, Nigel Harrison, Jonathan Rigby and Robin Sebastian.
A separate touring production launches from Bournemouth on 6 September 2004 before continuing, until 23 December, to a dozen further venues (See News, 28 Jul 2004). Round the Horne is presented by Joabri Productions.
Meanwhile, at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, Dirty Blonde will close one week earlier than planned. The Broadway comedy opened in London on 16 June 2004 (previews from 8 June) and had been booking up to 4 September. It will now finish on 28 August, after a run of 11 weeks.
The original New York cast – including creator Claudia Shear - reprise their roles in the story about romance between two urban loners who discover in their own lives a bit of the swagger of Mae West, the legendary vaudeville star and Hollywood sex siren.
Dirty Blonde was originally tipped for a 2001 West End run. Instead, it had its UK and European debut at the Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse in July 2002, with another planned London transfer delayed due to lack of venue availability. It’s produced in the West End by James Hammerstein Productions in association with Nick Salmon for Act Productions.
Peter Hall’s revival of Whose Life Is It Anyway?, starring Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall, is scheduled to open at the Duke of York’s in January 2005 (See News, 23 Jul 2004). No interim productions have yet been announced for the theatre.
- by Terri Paddock