Basket Case, which marks Fisher’s playwriting debut, opens on 9 September 2011 at the Theatre Royal Northampton and then tours, until 3 December, to Malvern, Aberdeen, Woking, Cheltenham, Nottingham, Bath, Richmond, Cambridge, Cardiff and Chichester, prior to a possible West End transfer.
Set in a tasteful Wiltshire kitchen of a divorced couple, the comedy centres on Havers’ golf-mad smoothie Guy who, in the face of imminent death of the ancient family dog, is thrown back together for one day with his ex-wife, Miranda. Havers and Kavanagh are joined in the cast by Graham Seed as the family vet Martin. Robin Lefevre directs.
Fisher and Havers became friends when Havers played the lead in Manchild. The actor subsequently asked Fisher to write a play for him. Fisher had previously written for film, television and radio and is also the author of a series of teen advice books, but he admits, “I never considered writing for theatre. ‘To be perfectly honest, I’ve hardly ever been to the theatre. But I do like a challenge, there’s something very exciting about writing a live performance, and it’s always a bit of a gift to write for Nigel.”
Havers says: “Nick was my first choice to write a new play, because I do so enjoy acting out his writing. It's fast, funny, furious and cuts into characters like a filleting knife. I can't wait to get started touring Basket Case. He’s created such a great and awful character for me – for all the cast, in fact. It’s a play full of laughs mixed with touching bittersweet moments. Really, I can't wait.”
Nigel Havers’ most recent stage credits include Rebecca, See U Next Tuesday and Art.