Six wannabe comedians attend an evening class at a school in Manchester in preparation for a performance in front of London agent. Faded music hall star acts Eddie Waters acts as their tutor, in an age when comedians wore dicky bows and political correctness was decades away.
Matthew Kelly plays Waters and, in addition to Allen, the stellar ensemble also features Mark Benton, Reece Shearsmith, Kulvinder Ghir, David Dawson (as Gethin Price), Billy Carter, Simon Kunz, Michael Dylan and Paul Rider. The new production marks Sean Holmes’ directorial debut as the Lyric’s new artistic director (See News, 3 Jun 2009)
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PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.
For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand at the Lyric Hammersmith for the Comedians curtain call and post-show party along with cast and creatives as well as author Trevor Griffiths and other first night guests including Alison Steadman, Richard Eyre, Sharon D Clarke, Tim McMullan, Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson.
The premiere of Comedians, seen in London at the National Theatre, starred Jimmy Jewel as Eddie and Jonathan Pryce as aspirant Gethin Price. Pryce later reprised his role in the show’s Broadway transfer. There hasn’t been a major London production of the play in nearly 20 years, though Holmes did revive it in a 2001 tour that starred Ron Moody as Eddie and David Tennant as Gethin.
The new Lyric production is designed by Anthony Lamble, with lighting by Simon Bennison and sound by Nick Manning. Its limited season continues until 14 November 2009.