Ian Hislop adapts Bunch of Amateurs for Watermill
Hislop and Nick Newman's 2008 comedy film starred Burt Reynolds
British comedy film A Bunch of Amateurs, about a Hollywood film star unwittingly starring in King Lear alongside an amateur theatre troupe, is being adapted by its original writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman for the stage.
The production will premiere at the Watermill, Newbury, on 26 May 2014 (previews from 22 May).
Burt Reynolds starred in the 2008 film alongside Samantha Bond, Derek Jacobi and Imelda Staunton. Reynolds played Hollyood action hero Jefferson Steele, who arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard but a sleepy Suffolk village and the cast are a bunch of amateurs.
Jefferson's monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested by the enthusiastic amateur thespians – who are not averse to a spot of ego, vanity and insecurity themselves.
Ian Hislop is a British journalist, comedian, writer, broadcaster and editor of the magazine Private Eye. He has appeared on countless radio and television programmes, and is perhaps best known as team captain on the BBC's comedy quiz show Have I Got News for You.
Nick Newman is best known for his work as a satirical cartoonist, working regularly for Private Eye since 1981, and as pocket cartoonist for The Sunday Times since 1989. His cartoons and strips have appeared in many other publications including Punch and The Spectator.
Hislop and Newman have collaborated for over 30 years, with co-writing credits including Spitting Image, Murder Most Horrid for Dawn French, two series of My Dad's the Prime Minister for BBC1, sketches for The Harry Enfield Show and the BBC Radio 4 series Gush.
A Bunch of Amateurs will be directed by Caroline Leslie with design by Tom Rogers and music by Paul Herbert.
It's presented by The Watermill in association with Trademark Films.