Visit London Blog » les dennis Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Les Dennis in Drowning on Dry Land at The Jermyn Street Theatre Thu, 03 Mar 2011 13:00:59 +0000

Drowning on Dry Land is a play about the idiocy of celebrity culture, currently on at the tiny Jermyn Street Theatre near Piccadilly Circus.

Alan Ayckbourn‘s 2004 play centres on Charlie Conrad a B-list star who has caught the public’s attention by continually failing, and who has transformed over the years from an approachable, likeable guy to an aloof diva, with no time even to attend his young son’s birthday party. Fame brings Charlie little joy and slowly everything worth having is slipping away…

The attraction for many going to see this show will be Les Dennis appearing in the role  of Charlie’s kind, smooth-talking agent Jason Ratcliffe. Much to my surprise, Dennis steps up to the challenge and is convincing and at times hilarious. Christopher Coghill has a tricky job playing ignorant celebrity Charlie, and he mostly succeeds though is occasionally a bit lacklustre. Helen Mortimer is awkward as Marsha Bates the young woman entertainer who turns into freakish clown, Mr Chortles. Her alter-ego becomes the focus of the play.

The real laughs are in the second half. Mark Farrelly and Russell Bentley as the two snappy lawyers catch the audience’s attention. Bentley is an instinctive comedian who thrives with Ayckbourn’s humour, when he entered I found I was leaning forward in my seat to enjoy the hysterical banter.

Apart from the unpleasant heat, this boutique theatre is unique in its layout and well worth a visit. You immediately feel involved – a quality perfect for Ayckbourn drama. Be warned though – the toilets are on stage, so be sure to go before the lights go down.

Drowning on Dry Land is on until 19 March, book tickets here.

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Thursday Theatre News: Jude Law, Niamh Cusack, Les Dennis and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s Future Plans Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:55:51 +0000 Michael Grandage is clearly hoping to leave his post as Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse with a bang. For his final season, he’s secured Jude Law and Ruth Wilson to star in Eugene O’Neill’s play Anna Christie this summer. In addition, you can see Douglas Hodge in John Osborne’s Inadmissible Evidence and Eddie Redmayne as Richard II. These three new productions follow the already announced The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Moonlight and Luise Miller.

Grandage will step down as Artistic Director following Richard II. He said, “I am delighted this final year celebrates so much of the repertoire we have presented over the last decade. It is wonderful to be joined by so many friends and colleagues in this last season of work – it is these collaborations and creative partnerships both on stage and with the staff at the Donmar, that have made the achievements of the past 10 years possible.”

Other cast news this week includes:

This week’s transfer news is about Fela! The Broadway musical about the life of Afrobeat star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti will transfer from the National Theatre to Sadler’s Wells this summer, for a six week run starting 20 July.

Finally, exciting news about my favourite theatre in London: Shakespeare’s Globe. The Bankside venue will be performing all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays for the Cultural Olympiad in 2012; wait for it, in different languages – how amazing does that sound?

There’ll be a King Lear in Australian Aboriginal languages, a Spanish Henry VIII, an Italian Caesar and a Tempest in Arabic. Look out for Love’s Labour’s Lost in British Sign Language, too! Rawiri Paratene – who appeared at the Globe last year and is known for the film Whale Rider – will star in a Maori production of Troilus And Cressida, with Zimbabwean actors Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyevu starring in a Shona version of The Two Gentlemen Of Verona.

Better still, the Globe is expanding. From 2013, there’ll be a new indoor Jacobean Theatre next to the existing “wooden o”. The new venue will seat 320 people, and is based on designs held in Worcester College, Oxford for a 17th-century indoor theatre. Construction work will start next year, in a shell that already exists in the Globe site. It’ll mean that the Globe can produce shows year-round, and that is a very good thing!

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