Frayn's masterpiece is an intricately crafted farce, where in each of its three acts the audience gets a fresh perspective on the raucous goings on both on and off stage as a group of players tour with the show Nothing On. The rivalry, hi-jinks and sexual shenanigans in the play-within-a-play pale in comparison to the dramas going on behind the scenes between the actors themselves, from missing sardines to gleefully slammed doors to maliciously and painfully placed cacti.
The show originally opened in 1982 at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, starring Patricia Routledge, Paul Eddington and Nicky Henson to universal praise, and remained in the West End for a further five years with five successive casts. The Broadway production opened in December 1983 to a similarly ecstatic response and ran for 553 performances. The show has remained a staple over the years for both amateur and professional productions, and a film adaptation was made in 1992 starring Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Marilu Henner and Nicolette Sheridan.
The upcoming West End cast has been announced as Victoria Wood stalwart Celia Imrie, West End darling Janie Dee, Hustle and Spooks star Robert Glenister, Waterloo Road's Jamie Glover, Emmerdale and Guys And Dolls' Amy Nuttall, Lark Rise To Candleford's Karl Johnson as well as Aisling Loftus and Paul Ready.
The production will be directed by Lindsey Posner. The show previews from December 3rd and officially opens on the 13th December and is scheduled to run to February 25th 2012. I
f you haven't seen the show before, you're in for a treat. If you have, you're probably booking your seats already!