Monday, 14 June 2021

Have I got a comedy for you

A NEW play co-written by Ian Hislop makes its première at the Watermill Theatre in June.

A Bunch of Amateurs is a reworked version of a 2008 British comedy film starring Burt Reynolds and Samatha Bond and has been crafted by Hislop and Nick Newman especially for the Watermill.

The story focuses on a fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele who, keen to boost his flagging career, arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford. He finds however 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. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself and his relationships with other people, not to mention his inner Lear.

Hislop, best known as Private Eye editor and team captain on BBC’s comedy quiz show Have I Got News for You, has collaborated on many writing projects with Newman, a satirical cartoonist.

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