Squeaky-voiced comedian Joe Pasquale (pictured) - revealed this week as one of the ten celebrities to be featured this month in the fourth series of ITV’s popular jungle-set reality show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here - will make his West End theatrical debut in the new year. Though a venue is still to be confirmed, Pasquale and Coronation Street’s Kevin Kennedy will star in Ray Cooney’s latest farce, Tom, Dick and Harry, which is due to open in March 2005 (See The Goss, 18 Sep 2003).

Pasquale starred in the play’s original run at the Theatre Royal Windsor in October 2003. That premiere followed a special one-off rehearsed reading held at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre and attended by, amongst other members of the public, nearly 100 theatregoers who provided post-performance feedback to Cooney for the show’s development. Also confirmed for the West End cast are Louise Jameson and Jeffrey Holland.

The comedy revolves around poor Tom Kerwood. All he wants to do is adopt a baby. So what's he doing with two illegal immigrants and a dead body instead? Blame his two brothers, Dick and Harry, whose ideas for helping Tom bring about marital collapse, a death threat from the Russian mafia, a visit from the local police plus a first wife Tom never knew he had.

Cooney is well known for stage hits such as Run for Your Wife!, Out of Order, Funny Money, Caught in the Net and It Runs in the Family as well as early collaborations with Brian Rix at the Whitehall Theatre. The new farce marks the first time that he has worked with his son, screenwriter Michael Cooney whose credits include Identity and Murder in Mind.

In the West End, Cooney plans to cap ticket prices for Tom, Dick and Harry to a maximum of £25. The move follows several productions that have begun to depart from conventional West End pricing, which sees top prices for plays averaging £40. Cooney explains: “I believe that the high price of theatre tickets – and there are many valid reasons for it – has been putting a lot of theatregoers off an evening in the West End.”

- by Terri Paddock