Alex Masterly made his professional stage debut last night (18 October 2007, previews from 10 October) at the West End’s Arts Theatre. Alex who? That’s Alex, the obnoxious corporate financier of the Daily Telegraph’s long-running comic strip of the same name, brought to life on stage by actor Robert Bathurst and a team of designers.

The new strip-to-stage adaptation of Alex is written by the cartoon’s creators Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor and directed by Phelim McDermott, co-founder and joint artistic director of Improbable Theatre whose credits include Theatre of Blood, Sticky, The Hanging Man, The Wolves in the Walls, Satyagraha and the multi award-winning Shockheaded Peter.

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In the one-man play, Alex's increasingly desperate attempts to juggle his job, his marriage and his social life as crisis hits all three and threatens to ruin him. High-tech projection design allows Alex to interact with characters from the strip and other elements of his cartoon world.

The production is designed by Phil Eddolls with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for Fifty Nine Productions Ltd, animation by Charles Peattie, lighting by Colin Grenfell and sound by Ed Clarke. Alex is presented by ATSP and Eleanor Lloyd.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the Alex curtain call at the Arts Theatre and the post-show party at Adam Street Club along with Robert Bathurst, the show’s creative team, and other first night guests including Roland Rivron, David Soul and the cartoon’s creators, Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor. Initially a parody of the yuppie stereotype pervasive when the strip was first published in the Independent in 1987, 20 years on, the cartoon about life in the City of London continues to be published daily in the Daily Telegraph.

- by Terri Paddock