Saturday evening saw the curtain go down on the final performance of ‘Enjoy’ at the Gielgud Theatre. A brilliant show that has broken box office records around the country. From its beginnings in Bath Theatre Royal to ending at the Gielgud theatre in the West End it has made audiences cry with laughter! Congratulations to everyone involved.
The lights definitely went out for Enjoy yesterday afternoon! Thirty minutes before the show, the theatre was plunged into darkness. The power failure effected a number of other shows including the musical Les Miserables and resulted in the performance being cancelled.
The power has now been restored and show will up tonight as normal.
Due to the huge popularity of Enjoy the West End run has been extended for an additional two weeks now closing on 16th May! You can book tickets from the Delfont Mackintosh website.
In the words of Dominic Maxwell from The Times ‘There’s no business like show business — but, against that, there’s no business like snow’. With snow everywhere and west end shows being cancelled all over the place Enjoy definitely rose to the occasion on Press Night. Since then the reviews have been coming in. Here are several of them …
“It isn’t just the funniest most thoughtful and poignant play in town – it’s the most enjoyable one.”
“… had the Bath audience in hysterics”
Guardian (before the move to the West End) – read review
Critics Choice: Best Theatre Production (5th Feb 09)
Evening Standard – read review
“the ending is shattering, poetic, unforgettable”
The Independent -read review
“Richard Glaves closes each act with two of the most moving speeches on the modern stage.”
What’s on Stage – read review
“It’s great to see justice finally being done to one of the richest and most original of all Alan Bennett’s plays. ”
Telegraph – read review
“… there was no stopping this redoubtable revival of Alan Bennett’s most peculiar play”
The Times – read review
“The final 10 minutes are devastating and memorable”
Guardian – read review
The following is the full cast list for the West End show ‘Enjoy’ by Alan Bennett, directed by Christopher Luscombe
||Julian Pindar – Gregory (Understudy Ms Craig)
Theatre credits for Guildhall School of Music and Drama include City of Angels, Etta Jenks, The London Cuckolds, The Winter’s tale, Twelfth Night, The Importance of Being Earnest and Medea. Film credits include Redemption, Till Death and in television he appeared as Rick Laisby in Suction.
||Alison Steadman – Connie CravenPrevious theatre credits include Abigail’s Party for which she created the role of the monstrous Beverly, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Olivier Award for Best Actress), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Entertaining Mr Sloane and Hotel Paradiso.
Films include Shirley valentine, Clockwise, Life is Sweet and Topsy Turvy.
Television credits include Fat Friends (BAFTA nomination for Best Actress), The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Pride and Prejudice, The Worst Week of My Life, Gavin & Stacey, The Singing Detective (BAFTA nomination for Best Actress) and Fanny Hill.
||David Troughton – Wilfred Craven
David Troughton comes from a theatrical family; he is the son of Doctor Who actor Patrick Troughton, elder borther of Michael Troughton, and father of both Sam Troughton and Warwickshire cricketer Jim Troughton.
Previous theatre credits include Richard II and Richard III for the RSC and Measure for Measure (Theatre de Complicite).
Television work includes Survivors, Doctor Who, Sharpe, Midsomer Murders, Ted and Alice, The Last Detective and New Tricks.
||Jake Ferretti – Harman (Understudy Heritage)
Training: Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts BA(hons).
Theatre: Robin, Graceland (The Old Vic); Romeo – Romeo and Juliet (Teatro di Stabile Verona); Vik – The Hate Play/Mark and the Marked (Box Cleaver).
During training: The Man – The Possibilities; Lysander – A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Edward – Cloud Nine (Edinburgh Fringe); Nipple – Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs; Belvoir – The Beau Defeated.
Film: The Other Boleyn Girl and Sense and Sensibility.
Radio: Tuzenbakh (Three Sisters).
Voiceovers (Yakety Yak agency); Big Tunes 2008 (Ministry of Sound), SAM Learning (GCSE Online help), Tuborg Beer, Wrigleys Gum.
||Richard Glaves – Ms Craig
Richard trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Previous theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth for the New Shakespeare Company, As You Like It (Sheffield Theatres trust), The Tempest (Liverpool Everyman), Twelfth Night, Richard II and Edward II for The Shakespeare’s Globe and Spike (Nuffield, Southampton).
Television invludes: Housewife 49, The Tudors, The Roman Mysteries, Richard II – Live at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Film and television work includes The Tudors, Hippie Hippie Shake and Atonement.
||John Gould – Adrian (understudy Anthony/Harman)
John Gould’s first appearance in a performance on a public stage was in Oklahoma! with The Woking Youth Theatre. Since then John has played leading roles in Kes, My Fair Lady, West Side Story and Les Miserables with The Woking Youth Theatre. John studied performing arts and theatre studies at Brooklands College and recently graduated with BA Acting at Bretton Hall. He entered into his first professional show Ajax with the Altitude North Theatre Company last year on an International Cyprus Tour. John has since appeared as the Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood at the Abbey Mills Theatre, Wimbledon; toured nationally with Lost in the Wind with the Lost Spectacles Theatre Company; played Thomas in Young at War, a new musical by Peer Productions, and starred in Small Worlds with Fuse Theatre for The European Capital Of Culture festival in Liverpool. John joined with his agent Actors’ Creative Team at the end of 2007; he has featured in many short films and has also pursued his training with workshops at The International School Of Screen Acting, RADA and the Actors Studio at Pinewood Studios.
||Mark Killeen – Heritage (understudy Sid)
Mark has extensive experience in film and on television having played a variety of roles in TV dramas and comedies such as Waking the Dead, Gangs of London, Magic Dwight, Renovation, SAS Embassy Siege, EastEnders, Something for the Weekend and The Bill.Most recently, Mark played the role of Terry in the feature film The Rise of the Footsoldier and now returns to theatre to reprise the role of Heritage in Enjoy, which proved a great success first time round at Watford Palace Theatre.
||Carol Macready – Mrs Clegg
Carol spent two years with the Old Vic early in her career and since then has appeared in numerous seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre. Some of her credits are The Wind in the Willows for Nick Hytner, Orpheus Descending for Sir Peter Hall, Cider With Rosie for Stephen Daldry, Edmond for Edward Hall, The Mandate for Declan Donnellan, Bartholomew Fair for Laurance Boswell, Roberto Zucco for James Macdonald, Measure For Measure for Michael Boyd, Love in a Wood for Tim Supple and Jubilee for Greg Doran. Most recently Carol appeared in The Turn of the Screw for Simon Reade, The Comedy of Errors for Jonathan Munby, School for Scandal for Richard Beecham and In the Club for David Grindley.As part of the RSC Fringe Festival, Carol directed a double bill of The Stronger by August Strindberg and Before Breakfast by Eugene O’Neill and America Soap by Simon Robson (also at the Fringe Festival at the Latchmere Theatre).
The latest of her many television appearances are Love Lies Bleeding, Midsomer Murders, Coronation Street, Doc Martin, Holby City, Trial and Retribution, Heartbeat, My Family and Poirot.
Films include Wonderous Oblivion, 102 Dalmations, The Night is Young and Quills.
Carol’s latest radio appearances are My Cousin Rachel, Felix Holt – The Radical and Number Ten.
||Chris McCalphy – Sid (understudy Wilfred)
Chris trained at Rose Bruford and The Hub in Cornwall. In 2008 Chris was in a touring production of Single Spies by Alan Bennett, also directed by Chris Luscombe, and is very happy to be working with him again. He made his West End debut last year as Geoff Hammond in The Letter at The Wyndham’s Theatre and then played Head G Man in You Can’t Take It With You at The Southwark Playhouse. Other theatre credits includes Khokariov in The Marriage and Ed in The International Stud for Theatre West and Aegeus in Medea for Not Without Cause. TV and film includes Casualty and The Gilblet Boys and the feature film Mouth to Mouth. Chris also works as a voiceover artist and has narrated various natural history films for the BBC as well as voiceovers for Channel 4, BBC 2, BBC 3, Aardman Animations, Radio 4 and the Discovery Channel.Other theatre credits include Single Spies, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Holding Hands with Angels, Ali Baba, The Letter, Hitler on Trial and You Can’t Take it With You.Film and television work includes The Giblet Boys II, Casualty, Fly in the Ointment, Sign of the Times, and Ward 6.
Radio and voice over work includes Sport Relief, Riot!, May the Angels Be With Us, Earth Trek, Impossible Journeys, The Brendan Voyage and The Heavens.
||Peter McGovern – Anthony (understudy Charles/Rowland)
Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where productions included City of Angels, Etta Jenks, The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, The Full Monty, The Three Sisters, Medea and The London Cuckolds. This is his first professional role.
||James Parkes – Charles (understudy Gregory/Adrian)
James is a graduate from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), where he performed a variety of roles including: Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Cassius in Julius Caesar, Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler, and his professional debut in The Mayor of Zalemea (Liverpool Everyman Theatre). Since graduating James has performed the roles of Oberon and Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cambridge Open Air Theatre), The Next Big Thing (New Players Theatre London), Around the World in Eighty Days (Vienna’s English Theatre) and Sweet Charity (Theatre Royal Drury Lane). Prior to training James performed with the National Youth Music Theatre in Pendragon (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre), and with the National Youth Theatre in The Threepenny Opera (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith). James is thoroughly looking forward to performing in Enjoy.
||Josie Walker – Linda CravenPrevious theatre credits include A Small Family Business (Watford Palace), Abigail’s Party (Northcott Theatre), Hedda Gabler, Assassins (Sheffield Crucible), Season’s Greetings (Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse), Steaming (Harrogate Turkish Baths), A Streetcar Named Desire (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Little Shop of Horrors (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Beautiful Game (Cambridge Theatre London, Olivier nomination), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre London) and Cats (National tour/New London Theatre).
||Sinead Beary – Understudy LindaSinead recently completed her training at East 15 Acting School. Since graduating, she has appeared as Rosalind in Inner City’s production of New York playwright Mike Batistick’s Chicken. She has also worked with the Wireless Theatre Company, playing Vanessa, in their production of The Importance of Shoes. Highlights of her professional work prior to training include Lisa in It Just Came Out by Christian O’Reilly with Druid Theatre Company, Galway, Carol in Oleanna and Laura-Ashley Rock in Idol at the Edinburgh Fringe, which she also wrote.
||Amanda Reed – Understudy Connie Craven, Ms Clegg
After many years of bringing up her family, Amanda decided to return to her first love – acting – and she trained at the Birmingham School of Acting and has recently finished a season of The History Boys directed by Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre and Wyndhams in London. Amanda’s theatre experience has been varied and she appeared twice in Birmingham – in Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis directed by Rachel Kavanagh and in Divine Words playing Rosa La Tatula at the Hippodrome directed by Malachi Bogdanov. Other theatre includes Playhouse Creatures and Muscles at the Landor, The Wyrd Sisters at the Gatehouse and Brief Encounter on tour, playing the role of Dolly Messiter, directed by Michael Lunney.
Film includes The Spotter for LFA, Hearing Things for Fat Cat Productions, Horace K48 for Petrol Head Productions, Men In Black for New Moon, The Naked Lunch for Cool Hill Films, Spare Parts for Out of Focus, Settling Up for On Its Head and It’s The Little Things for Fat Beehive.
The BBC has a video interview with Enjoy playwright Alan Bennett. He talks a bit about the history of Enjoy with also some clips from the show. They report that Enjoy has already taken £1m in advanced ticket sales.
Monday is press night for Enjoy so we will have to wait and see what the reviewers have to say about it, but tickets are going very fast so if you do want to come and see Julian please book soon!
The time has almost arrived! ‘Enjoy’ previews start tonight at the Gielgud Theatre with a press night on 2nd Feb. Julian has been in rehearsals for the past couple of days and everything has been going really well. If you do want to book tickets visit the Delfont Mackintosh website or Ticket Master.
The end of November signalled the end of the Enjoy tour at Richmond Theatre, and what a sell out tour it was. Julian now has two months off and he already has two short TV films and a television show to do before he starts the West End run.
Julian has confirmed that he will be heading to London West End’s Gielgud Theatre with the rest of the cast and crew of Alan Bennett’s show Enjoy. The show has had an amazing run on tour around the country, breaking box office records as it goes. The show will run from 22nd January to the 2nd May for a 14 week run.
To book tickets contact the box office at 0844 482 5130 or visit www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk.
Some more press comments:
“Christopher Luscombe’s pitch-perfect revival….sad, funny and beautifully acted”
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph August 2008
“The performances are just about perfect *****”
Michael Billington, The Guardian, August 2008
“David Troughton and Alison Steadman give masterful performances.the writing is brilliant; lyrical, obscene, funny.”
John Peter, Sunday Times, August 2008
“Enjoy is one of Bennett’s best plays”
Susannah Clapp, The Observer, August 2008
The following are the full tour dates and a couple of Press photos for Enjoy:
From 01 September 2008 To 06 September 2008
The Lowry, Salford
From 08 September 2008 To 13 September 2008
The Playhouse, Oxford
From 15 September 2008 To 20 September 2008
Malvern Theatres, Malvern
From 22 September 2008 To 27 September 2008
Theatre Royal, Brighton
From 30 September 2008 To 04 October 2008
New Theatre, Cardiff
From 27 October 2008 To 01 November 2008
Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester
From 03 November 2008 To 08 November 2008
Arts Theatre, Cambridge
From 10 November 2008 To 15 November 2008
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham
From 17 November 2008 To 22 November 2008
Richmond Theatre, Outer London
The reviews are coming in thick and fast for Enjoy, this one is by Michael Billington of The Guardian who gave the show 5 out of 5!
Alan Bennett’s 1980 comedy has acquired a sudden topicality with the news that 40,000 households are to be subject to a detailed social survey. For Bennett’s rich and wondrous play is, among many other things, about the way we assume a false identity when under observation. If this sounds unduly solemn, I can only say that Christopher Luscombe’s production, substantially recast since it first appearance at the Palace Watford, had the Bath audience in hysterics.
Bennett’s setting is one of the last back-to-backs in Leeds, occupied by a beleaguered old couple. Connie is a houseproud amnesiac who claims, “I keep that toilet like a palace.” Wilfred, with a steel plate in his head after a hit-and-run accident, is a more tormented soul who cannot wait for the bulldozers to arrive. But when a sexually ambiguous sociologist called “Ms Craig” arrives to monitor the couple’s daily life, everything goes haywire. Their daughter Linda announces she is off to marry a Saudi prince; Wilfred keels over after a brutal attack by a young thug; and the couple’s long-banished gay son is revealed to be in their midst.
The play’s brilliance lies in its mixture of satire and farce. Bennett is clearly attacking the self-consciousness of closely scrutinised behaviour and the transformation of working-class life into a theme-park industry. But his play is also riotously funnny. The highpoint comes in a scene, echoing DH Lawrence’s The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, in which Wilfred’s supposed corpse is stripped and washed in what a neighbour, Mrs Clegg, calls “the customary manner”. Carol Macready is magnificent as Mrs Clegg, offering a mountainous mixture of fake gentility and voyeuristic curiosity as she eagerly tugs off Wilfred’s trousers. In its ability to combine a social point about bogus traditions with a literary reference, the scene also typifies a play that climaxes with an echo of Proust.
The performances are just about perfect. David Troughton seethes with rage as the abusive, partially paralysed Wilfred, who feels he has been cheated of life. Alison Steadman wisely never patronises Connie but plays her as a simple, kindly woman for whom cleanliness is far superior to godliness. Josie Walker again invests Linda with a vituperative sexiness, while Richard Glaves as the svelte “Ms Craig” has the ambivalent mystery of Ben Jonson’s The Silent Woman. Janet Bird’s design cleverly reminds us that there is a conscious theatricality about this cramped working-class pad destined to end up a museum piece. After its short tour, this joyous production should move lock, stock and barrel into the West End.
Julian has been recently cast as ‘Gregory’ in the Peter Hall companies production of ‘Enjoy’ by Alan Bennett. The production is currently finishing a three week run at the Theatre Royal Bath. The production then tours the country with the next stop being Manchester’s Lowry Theatre between 1st – 6th September.
For the full cast list see: Enjoy West End Cast List