Monday, October 23

Stage: The joy of farce

- February 13, 2017

Out-Of-Order_Group

If you are of a certain age you might well remember televised versions of the Whitehall Farces, a feast of door-slamming, trouser-dropping comedy farces created by Ray Cooney. Ray Cooney is celebrating both his eighty fifth birthday and seventy years in showbiz in 2017 and, working with producer Tom O’Connell, launching a brand new season of Ray’s comedies The first production will be an updated version of his Olivier Award winning Out Of Order, which heads to Brighton next month!

Cooney’s credits include Run For Your Wife, Funny Money and Two Into One, Caught in the Net and It Runs in the Family. Out Of Order was first produced regionally in 1980, under the original title Whose Wife is it Anyway, with Cooney playing ‘George Pigden’. The show was subsequently produced in the West End in 1990 starring Donald Sinden, Sandra Dickinson and Michael Williams, with Cooney directing.

When Tory Junior Minister Richard Willey tries to spend the evening with Jane, one of the Opposition’s secretaries, in the Westminster Hotel, things don’t exactly go according to plan – starting with the discovery of a body trapped in the hotel’s only unreliable sash window. Enlisting the help of his hapless private secretary George Pigden, Willey’s sticky situation goes from bad to worse and with the arrival of Jane’s distraught young husband and with the addition of an unscrupulous waiter, Mrs Willey and Nurse Foster things really come to a head!

Ray Cooney said “Having directed my Olivier Award winning play in London and all over the world, and hearing all that wonderful raucous laughter from audiences, it has become one of my favourite plays. I’ve updated it to present day and, fortunately, the basic premise of a philandering politician is as likely today as it was when the play was originally written!”.

Door-slamming, trouser-dropping comedy

Arthur Bostrom, best known for his iconic role as Officer Crabtree in classic sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo, will join the cast as the Hotel Manager, alongside Shaun Williamson (EastEnders, Extras) as George Pigden; Sue Holderness (Only Fools & Horses, Green Green Grass) as Mrs Willey; Andrew Hall (Butterflies, Coronation Street) as Richard Willey; Susie Amy (Footballers’ Wives) as Jane Worthington; James Holmes (Miranda) as the Waiter; Elizabeth Elvin as Nurse Foster; Jules Brown as Ronnie Worthington and David Warwick as The Body. Completing the cast are Raphael Bar, Simon Murray, and Kate Sawyer.

David Warwick has been involved in OUT OF ORDER since 1990, when he played the Body in the tryout at Leatherhead’s Thorndike Theatre (under its initial title of Whose Wife is it Anyway), then in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre and the subsequent national tour. He went on to direct the play in the UK (Bournemouth & Sonning), Vienna, the Far East (Singapore & Kuala Lumpur) and the USA (Miami & New Jersey). He has also played Pigden & the Manager.

Theatre Royal Brighton 20-25 March www.atgtickets.com/brighton* | 0844 871 7650*
*Booking fees apply


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