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Marks & Gran Debut Ribbentrop’s Watch in Oxford

By • West End
The world premiere of Von Ribbentrop's Watch, a new play by Dreamboats and Petticoats musical writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, will open at the Oxford Playhouse before touring the UK from September to October 2010.

Dreamboats and Petticoats, still running at the West End's Playhouse Theatre, garnered Olivier Award nominations for Marks and Gran. The duo, who have been collaborating for over 30 years, are also behind long-running television drama series Love Hurts and Shine On Harvey Moon, as well as sitcoms Birds of a Feather and Goodnight Sweetheart.

Von Ribbentrop's Watch will feature a high-profile cast of actors of both the stage and the small screen: from Jack Ellis (Coronation Street) and Gwyneth Strong (Only Fools and Horses) to Andrew Paul (The Bill) and Barbara Young (Last of the Summer Wine).

A sharp contrast to Marks’ and Gran’s feel-good Fifties musical, Von Ribbentrop's Watch is the tale of Gerald Roth, a Jewish wine merchant struggling through the recession who discovers the potential business-saving value of his pocket watch – but struggles with the fact that its collectability stems from its original owner, Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. The play raises an ethical dilemma as Roth’s discomfort intensifies over a Passover dinner, during which family secrets persist in slowly rising to the surface.

The production is directed by Watford Palace Theatre’s artistic director Brigid Larmour, with design by Emma Wee with lighting by Charlie Lucas.

Von Ribbentrop's Watch is produced by Oxford Playhouse Productions in association with Watford Palace Theatre. The production will open in Oxford on 9 September 2010 and will tour to Watford and Richmond, ending its run in Salisbury on 16 October 2010.

- Lydia Onyett


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