Jeremy Sams’ highly acclaimed revival of Michael Frayn’s Olivier Award-winning Donkeys' Years will close on 16 December 2006, at the end of its current booking period the West End’s Comedy Theatre. The comedy, which opened on 9 May 2006 (previews from 27 April), had originally only been booking until 29 July but announced a 15-week extension in August. Several new cast members – Janie Dee, Karl Theobald, Hamish Clark and Paul Raffield – joined the production in September (See News, 14 Aug 2006).

Twenty-five years after graduation, six former students return to their university college for a reunion dinner. Locked in college for the night, the graduates begin to relive their youth, with all its chaotic friendships and feuds.

David Haig gives a “career-defining” (according to What’s On Stage magazine columnist and Guardian critic Michael Billington) performance as trouser-dropping MP Headingly. The other remaining original cast members are Michael Simkins (Buckle), Jonathan Coy (Tate), Edward Petherbridge (Sydney Birkett) and Chris Moran (Bill Taylor).

Janie Dee took over from Samantha Bond as Lady Driver, Karl Theobald from Mark Addy as Snell, Hamish Clark from James Dreyfus as Quine, and Paul Raffield from Michael Fitzgerald as Sainsbury. The production is designed by Peter McKintosh with lighting by Howard Harrison. It’s presented in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Tulbart Productions, Michael Linnit, Lee Menzies, TEG Productions and Boyett Ostar Productions.

Discussions are currently underway for a Broadway transfer of Donkeys' Years. No further productions have yet been announced for the Comedy Theatre.

- by Terri Paddock