Omid Djalili returns to the West End stage to star as Dr Rance in Joe Orton’s comedy WHAT THE BUTLER SAW directed by Sean Foley. The new production will open at the Vaudeville Theatre on Wednesday 16 May, following previews from Friday 4 May, for a strictly limited season, ending on Saturday 25 August.
WHAT THE BUTLER SAW was Joe Orton's final play. Completed in July 1967 (less than a month before his death), it was first staged in March 1969 at the Queen’s Theatre in London.
WHAT THE BUTLER SAW is an insanely funny, full-throttle comedy. Hysterical one-liners and outrageous twists collide, as the characters lose the plot, their wits, and their clothes. When psychoanalyst Dr Prentice instructs his new secretary to undress, little does he expect to be interrupted by his wife, her blackmailing lover, a meddling government inspector and an inquisitive policeman. But hiding a naked woman is the least of his worries, as libidos run riot, identities are swapped and social decorum is buried.
Omid Djalili is an award-winning British-Iranian actor/comedian. Not only acclaimed as one of Britain's funniest stand-up comedians, he has also featured in films including The Mummy, Gladiator, Spy Game, Mean Machine, Modigliani, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Casanova, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Love Guru, The Infidel and Sex and the City 2. On television, his credits include Small Potatoes, Dinutopia, Whoopi and The Omid Djalili Show. His current sell-out UK Tour finishes on 25 February at the Hammersmith Apollo.
Sean Foley directed the current West End hit production, The Ladykillers. He co-founded the Right Size, creating over ten original comedies for the theatre, including the Olivier Award-winning The Play What I Wrote. Last year, he directed Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon in his own adaptation of Francis Veber’s The Painkiller at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. WHAT THE BUTLER SAW will be designed by Alice Power, with lighting by Johanna Town, composition and sound by Ben and Max Ringham, and casting by Anne Vosser.
WHAT THE BUTLER SAW will be produced in London by MJE Productions, co-producers of the West End musical Ghost and producers of the critically acclaimed 2009 production of Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane starring Imelda Staunton and Mathew Horne.