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Ray Cooney Celebrates 70 Years In Showbiz With Updated Production Of ‘Out Of Order’


Ray Cooney celebrates his 85th birthday and 70 years in showbiz in 2017, and to mark these momentous milestones he is working with producer Tom O’Connell on a brand new season of his classic comedies – including an updated production of his Olivier award-winning Westminster comedy Out of Order.

Currently touring the UK, the show features a stellar cast. Out of Order is directed by Cooney himself – who has been dubbed as ‘The Master of Farce’ (The Telegraph).

Out of Order runs at the Opera House, Manchester, from Tuesday 30 May through to Saturday 3 June 2017.

Ray Cooney’s credits include Run For Your Wife, Funny Money and Two Into One, Caught in the Net, and It Runs in the Family. Out of Order was first produced regionally in 1980, under the original title ‘Whose Wife is it Anyway’, with Cooney playing George Pigden. The show was subsequently produced in the West End in 1990 starring Donald Sinden, Sandra Dickinson and Michael Williams, with Cooney directing.

Ray Cooney said:Having directed my Olivier Award-Winning play in London and all over the world, and hearing all that wonderful raucous laughter from audiences, it has become one of my favourite plays. I’ve updated it to present day and, fortunately, the basic premise of a philandering politician is as likely today as it was when the play was originally written!”

When Tory Junior Minister Richard Willey tries to spend the evening with Jane, one of the Opposition’s secretaries, in the Westminster Hotel, things don’t exactly go according to plan – starting with the discovery of a body trapped in the hotel’s only unreliable sash window.

Enlisting the help of his hapless private secretary George Pigden, Willey’s sticky situation goes from bad to worse, and with the arrival of Jane’s distraught young husband and with the addition of an unscrupulous waiter, Mrs Willey and Nurse Foster things really come to a head!

Shaun Williamson (EastEnders, Extras) stars as George Pigden; Sue Holderness (Only Fools & Horses, Green Green Grass) as Mrs Willey; Jeffrey Harmer (Out of Order, Fox on the Fairway) as Richard Willey; Susie Amy(Footballers’ Wives) as Jane Worthington; James Holmes (Miranda) as the Waiter; Arthur Bostrom (‘Allo ‘Allo) as the Hotel Manager, with Elizabeth Elvin as Nurse Foster; Jules Brown as Ronnie Worthington, and David Warwick as the Body. Completing the cast are Raphael Bar, Simon Murray, and Kate Sawyer.

David Warwick has been involved in Out of Order since 1990, when he played the Body in the try-out at Leatherhead’s Thorndike Theatre (under its initial title of Whose Wife is it Anyway), then in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and the subsequent national tour. He went on to direct the play in the UK (Bournemouth and Sonning), Vienna, the Far East (Singapore and Kuala Lumpur), and the USA (Miami and New Jersey). He has also played Pigden and the Hotel Manager. While Jeffrey Harmer previously played Richard Willey in a production ofOut of Order for Vienna’s English Theatre in 2009.

Out of Order is produced by Tom O’Connell, Debbie Hicks and Laurence Myers, with design by Rebecca Brower, lighting by Jack Weir, sound by James Nicholson, and casting by Marc Frankum CDG.


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