Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Playwright’s in the running to direct

Playwright’s in the running to direct

HE’S known in theatre circles as the master of farce — and with good reason.

Having enjoyed a six-week stint at the Mill at Sonning last year directing a revival of his 1969 play Move Over, Mrs Markham, Ray Cooney is returning to the 215-seater venue.

This time around he is directing arguably his greatest success as a playwright. First staged in 1983, Run for Your Wife ran for a total of nine years in the West End.

John Smith is a happy London taxi driver, working shifts. But he has one little problem. He is married. Twice. He has one wife, Mary, in Wimbledon. And another wife, Barbara, in Streatham.

John keeps to a rigorous schedule so that never the twain shall meet. Everyone is blissfully happy —
especially John Smith.

But one day, after gallantly intervening in a mugging, John is taken to hospital with concussion. The police become involved.

John panics and enlists the help of his neighbour, Stanley. Bad choice. Stanley is shambolic, disorganised and — when it comes to conniving — clueless.

The hapless duo embark on a series of wildly implausible explanations. The more they lie, the deeper the hole they dig, and the more the situation all starts to go horribly but riotously wrong.

A Mill at Sonning spokesman said: “If you enjoyed Move Over, Mrs Markham last year you will be delighted to welcome back the King of Farce, Ray Cooney. Ray will once again direct his own play — Run For Your Wife — his funniest and most acclaimed ever.

“This is classic Cooney at his absolute best. Run For Your Wife has delighted audiences with smash-hit runs all over the world. So come along to laugh and laugh until you cry.”

The show, which opens next Thursday (October 3) and runs until Saturday, November 23, stars Nick Wilton as John Smith and Jeffrey Holland as Stanley, with Michelle Morris as Mary and Judy Buxton as Barbara.

Saturday matinees take place every week, with Sunday matinees from October 13. All tickets include a two-course meal in the restaurant before the show. For tickets and times, call 0118 969 8000 or visit www.millatsonning.com

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