All the actresses will appear at some point during the run, though there will only be two on stage for any one performance. The actresses and Mortimer will present an evening of stories, quotations and anecdotes from the legal world, poetry and music. The show includes poignant and hilarious memories of John Mortimer's childhood as recounted from his play A Voyage Around My Father. The musicians are Simon James (guitar), Clive Conway (flute), Christine Croshaw (piano).
John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist and QC who spent many years as a practising barrister. He is best known for his Rumpole of the Bailey short story collections, which became a long-running, BAFTA Award-winning TV series. The final Rumpole collection - Rumpole Rests His Case - will be published in November 2001. Mortimer has also written numerous novels, biographies, TV adaptations and screenplays (including Cider with Rosie and Tea with Mussolini, starring Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Judi Dench), while his stage plays, in addition to A Voyage Around My Father, include The Dock Brief and The Wrong Side of the Park.
The premiere production of Mortimer's latest stage comedy, Hock and Soda Water, is currently playing at the Chichester Festival Theatre, where it continues until 8 December 2001. Starring Richard Johnson, Hock and Soda Water is billed as "quintessentially English comedy about the recipe for happiness through the three ages of man", It follows the wonderfully named Henry Troutbeck Pottinger who, now in the autumn of his years, is transported back in time to the key episodes of his life.
- by Terri Paddock