News: New Frankie Howerd play to tour UK

KWPR has announced the world premiere of Howerd’s End, a new play by Mark Farrelly about British comedy legend Frankie Howerd.

Howerd’s End’ directed by Joe Harmston explores the clandestine relationship between comedy legend Frankie Howerd and Dennis Heymer from the 1950s until Frankie’s death in 1992.

Frankie Howerd is played by SImon Cartwright, who received rave reviews as another British comedy legend, Bob Monkhouse, in ‘The Man Called Monkhouse’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Simon also played Bob Monkhouse in ‘Toast of London’ on C4 and in Paul Hendy’s film ‘The Last Laugh’.

Dennis Heymer is played by the play’s author Mark Farelly, who is also the writer and performer of two hugely-acclaimed solo plays, ‘The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton’ and ‘Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope’, which he has performed over 200 times across the UK / New York and counting. His next play is a solo portrait of radical film-maker Derek Jarman.

Can you imagine being terrified of your own happiness? You can? Then let’s begin…

Frankie Howerd is one of Britain’s most loved comedians. But he has a secret. And the secret’s name is Dennis.

This brand new play by Mark Farrelly (‘Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope’) takes you to the heart of Frankie and Dennis’ clandestine relationship, which lasted from the 1950s until Frankie’s death in 1992. It also affords a glorious opportunity to encounter Frankie in full-flight stand up mode.

Packed with laughter, but unafraid of truth, ‘Howerd’s End’ portrays two humans’ journey through closeness, love, grief, and all the other things that make life worth living. Come and say farewell to a legend…and learn the art of letting go.

‘Howerd’s End’ will get its world premiere at Old Joint Stock theatre, Birmingham from Wednesday 8 – Sunday 12 April and will then tour.

Frankie Howerd is played by SImon Cartwright, who received rave reviews as another British comedy legend, Bob Monkhouse, in ‘The Man Called Monkhouse’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Simon also played Bob Monkhouse in ‘Toast of London’ on C4 and in Paul Hendy’s film ‘The Last Laugh’.

After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and graduating from the University of Surrey, SImon carved a career both as an actor and impressionist, making appearances at The Comedy Store with Alistair  McGowan. His TV
appearances include ‘Bob Says Opportunity Knocks’.

Dennis Heymer is played by the play’s author Mark Farelly, who is also the writer and performer of two hugely-acclaimed solo plays, ‘The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton’ and ‘Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope’, which he has performed over 200 times across the UK / New York and counting. His next play is a solo portrait of radical film-maker Derek Jarman.

Mark made his theatre debut immediately on graduating from Cambridge, playing the lead in Stephen Fry’s ‘Latin!’ at London’s King’s Head Theatre. His West End credits include ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ opposite Matthew Kelly at Trafalgar Studios.

Joe Harmston (Director) has directed over 100 theatre productions around the world and forged associations with some of British theatre’s most significant voices including Harold Pinter, Ronald Harwood, Michael Frayn, Trevor Nunn, Peter Hall, Peter Ustinov and Bill Kenwright. He directed Pinter in Pinter’s own ‘The Lover’ / ‘The Collection’ at The Donmar Warehouse, created and ran the hugely successful Agatha Christie Theatre Company, and remains much in demand as director, dramaturg and, more
recently, writer.

Frankie Howerd was and still is “one of Britain’s best-loved comedians”. A radical, whose courage and innovation as a performer have too often been obscured by cosy nostalgia, he was the first stand-up to dispense with conventional punchlines and slick patter, instead crafting stumbling, surreal streams of insecurity, based on his sense of inadequacy, disappointment and sheer unsuitability to the very job of being a comedian. In his refusal to ‘do’ comedy like everyone else had done, he paved the way for other non-conformists like The Goons, Monty Python and Eddie Izzard.

2020 UK tour dates

Wednesday 8 – Sunday 12 April
BIRMINGHAM
Old Joint Stock
4 Temple Row W,
Birmingham B2 5NY
www.oldjointstock.co.uk
Box office: 0121 200 094

Monday 11 May
WHITHORN
The Swallow Theatre
Moss Park
Ravenstone
Whithorn
Newton Stewart DG8 8DR
www.swallowtheatre.co.uk
Box office: 01988 850368

Monday 13 July
LONDON
Hospital Club
24 Endell Street,
London WC2H 9HQ

Friday 17 July
BEDFORD
The Place
Bradgate Road,
Bedford MK40 3DE
www.theplacebedford.org.uk
Box office: 01234 354321

Friday 24 July
SUDBURY
Quay Theatre
Quay Lane
Sudbury
Suffolk CO10 2AN
www.quaysudbury.com
Box office: 01787 374745

Friday 2 October:
LICHFIELD
Lichfield Garrick
Castle Dyke,
Lichfield WS13 6HR
www.lichfieldgarrick.com
Box office: 01543 412121

Friday 23 & Saturday 24 October
CHELTENHAM
Everyman Theatre,
10 Regent St,
Cheltenham GL50 1HQ
www.everymantheatre.org.uk
Box office: 01242 572 573

Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne

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