News: Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s play A Bunch of Amateurs to tour the UK in 2020

Following the huge success of The Wipers Times and Trial By Laughter, Trademark Touring, Karl Sydow and Anthology Theatre in association with The Everyman Theatre Cheltenham are proud to present the UK tour of Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s comedy A Bunch of Amateurs.

Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford – only to find that he is not in the birthplace of Shakespeare, but in a sleepy Suffolk village. And instead of starring alongside Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench, the cast are a bunch of amateurs trying to save their theatre from ruthless developers.

Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit by the enthusiastic amateur thespians he finds himself sharing the spotlight with. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself – along with his inner Lear!

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman said: “Following successful national tours of The Wipers Times and Trial By Laughter, we are thrilled to be touring the very first play we wrote, A Bunch of Amateurs – a love letter to the world of amateur theatre and a celebration of the overweening absurdity of Hollywood stardom”.

A Bunch of Amateurs will be directed by Robin Herford. He is undoubtedly best known for the phenomenally successful The Woman In Black, which he commissioned whilst he was Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in the late 1980s, and has now been running in the West End for 30 years. Other directorial credits include Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance, All My Sons, Twelfth Night, Old Times, Clouds, Butley, She Stoops To Conquer, The Beaux Stratagem, Touch Wood and Whistle, Calling, Spokesong, Getting On, Tapster, Just Between Ourselves, Forty Years On, A Going Concern and What Every Woman Knows (all at Scarborough) and national tours of Ayckbourn classics such as Relatively Speaking, Confusions, Bedroom Farce, Season’s Greetings and Ten Times Table.

Casting will be announced in due course.


Thursday 23 April – Saturday 2 May                   Box Office: 01242 572573
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham                          Website:

Monday 4 – Saturday 9 May                                  Box Office: 01392 726363
Exeter Northcott Theatre                                       Website:

Monday 11– Saturday 16 May                                Box Office: 01604 624811
Northampton Theatre Royal                                  Website:

Monday 18– Saturday 23 May                               Box Office: 0844 871 7651
Richmond Theatre                                                   Website:

Tuesday 26– Saturday 30 May                                Box Office: 0121 236 4455
Birmingham Rep                                                       Website:

Tuesday 2– Saturday 6 June                                    Box Office: 01904 623568
York Theatre Royal                                                   Website:

Monday 8 – Saturday 13 June                                 Box Office: 029 2087 8889
Cardiff New Theatre                                                 Website:

Tuesday 16– Saturday 20 June                                Box Office: 01865 305305
Oxford Playhouse                                                      Website:

Tuesday 23– Saturday 27 June                                 Box Office: 0115 989 5555
Nottingham Theatre Royal                                       Website:

Monday 29 June – Saturday 4 July                           Box Office: 01483 440000
Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford                                       Website:

Photo credit: Target Live 

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