The Play What I Wrote
When THE PLAY WHAT I WROTE opened in London’s West End, every single review was a rave, every show a sell-out and it won every major theatre award. The Sunday Times called it “a triumph” and The Observer said “audiences weep with laughter”.
Hamish has written a play, an epic set in the French Revolution called ‘A Tight Squeeze for the Scarlet Pimple’. Sean, on the other hand, wants to continue with their double act. He believes that if they perform a tribute to Morecambe and Wise, Hamish’s confidence will be restored and the double act will go on. But first Sean needs to persuade a guest star to appear in the play what Hamish wrote…
With a mystery guest star at every performance, this “recklessly, tear-inducingly funny show” (The Guardian) is “a loving celebration of comic genius which is itself touched with comic genius” (Daily Telegraph).
Now a brand new production directed by Sean Foley and produced by David Pugh and Theatre Royal Bath Productions, will be bringing sunshine to Bath next January.
“The most glorious, affectionate homage to one of the greatest comedy duos of all time.
I was convulsed with laugher” Mail on Sunday
“Wildly original and theatrical” Daily Mail
“It’s a cascade of gags and slapstick and knowing allusions: it’s a delirium tremendous. Audiences weep with laughter” The Observer
“A glorious brilliantly judged triumph.A loving celebration of comic genius which is itself touched with comic genius” Daily Telegraph
“I laughed until I cried” The Independent
“Hilarious. The gags come thick and fast producing a kind of comic delirium” The Guardian
THE PLAY WHAT I WROTE
by Hamish McColl and Sean Foley and, of course, Eddie Braben
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The Play What I Wrote ON TOUR
Our review on The Play What I Wrote
The Play What I Wrote - The Lowry, Salford - Monday 31st January 2022 by Abigail Holden
Wow. Just wow. ‘The Play What I Wrote’, at the Lowry, is certainly a treat! With a minimal cast and a surprise special guest for each performance, the show is phenomenal. It brings back to life a time long-forgotten by many - the joy of a variety, comedy double act.
The story is of Dennis (played by Dennis Herdman) and Thom (played by Thom Tuck) - a variety double-act - who have drifted, with Thom writing play after play and Dennis wanting to perform together as a Morecambe and Wise tribute. They embark on a journey to get back on their feet and on the stage, whilst overcoming obstacles in their way and their own dreams and wants. Thom’s play is picked up and he is delighted that he will be able to perform the play - wanting Ian McKellan and Scarlett Johannsen to be the stars, alongside himself. However, all of this is a ruse on Dennis’ part, who has orchestrated the whole thing under the guise that they will, instead perform the Morecambe and Wise tribute. Dennis enlists the help of Arthur (played by Mitesh Soni), who then moonlights as different people, from the prestigious west-end producer David Pugh to Scarlett Johannsen, in order to make the tribute performance happen. Dennis’ high-energy and impeccable comic timing adds to Thom’s amazing characterisation and finesse, with the addition of Dennis making the duo a phenomenal trio.
The first half takes the audience through a number of comedy routines, including that of a ventriloquist doctor and that of a dustpan - each one having the audience in stitches. Tuck’s Thom, the ‘straight guy’ of the comedy duo goes through a crisis, with the support of the duo’s ‘funny man’ Dennis, whilst being duped by Soni’s Arthur, who, despite his array of characters, just wants to play his harmonica, in memory of his mother. The whole first half embodies the spirit of Morecambe and Wise, with clear influence being shown, whilst showing new material, and creating side-splitting laughs and endless joy for the audience. It is feel-good, funny and perfectly entertaining. There is nothing like simple comedy (a lot of it consisting of clever wordplay, with a hint of euphemism sprinkled through) to bring people together.
The second half is the production of the play that inspired the title ‘The Play What I Wrote’ and the need for a special guest. We were delighted with the presence of Charles Dance - the actor most known for his stint in Game of Thrones and The Crown (in more recent years) - who jumped head-first into the pandemonium of ‘A Tight Squeeze of the Scarlet Pimple’ - a ‘serious’ drama set to the backdrop of the French Revolution. The spontaneity that comes with a new special guest for each performance aided the show - with jokes being made at the expense of Dance, whilst adding to the tale of the Scarlet Pimple, and helping Thom’s dream of staging one of the many plays he has written come true. Dennis, Thom and Arthur aided Dance through dance routines, sketches and an array of props with a well-practised air and execution. The use of having a different special guest for each show adds to the audience’s experience, with each audience getting an entirely unique performance.
Of course, the second half is not without its Morecambe and Wise references, from the classic paper bag trick, to the slaps to face and mannerisms of Eric Morecambe shining through, using just a pair of glasses. They have the classic golden curtains, a special guest to humiliate and work with, and some fun song and dance routines thrown into the mix - a classic recipe for Morecambe and Wise. The simple storyline of ‘The Play What I Wrote’ leaves the audience with the feeling of ease and joy, with them being able to enjoy the comedy, without having to think too hard about it, for a few hours.
‘The Play What I Wrote’ is a joy for people who know Morecambe and Wise and for people who don’t. And, if you want to know if Arthur finally gets to play his harmonica… Well, you’ll have to see for yourself, won’t you?