Item 1. Showing now.
Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor
Season: Opened 21 January and runs until Saturday 4 June.
Book now – you won’t want to miss out!
Ring the Office: 4954 4958 or book online newcastletheatrecompany.com.au
Drawing on his memories from when he was a new writer for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows; Simon sets this witty and funny play in 1953. History lovers will no doubt recall this time period coincided with McCarthy’s witch hunt of communists (“reds under the beds”).
Noel Grivas is back in his role as Director and has gathered together an awesome cast.
Richard Murray relishes his role as Max Prince (inspired by Sid Caesar himself). The team of writers in this play consist of:
- Carl Gregory as Lucas (Neil Simon’s not-so-secret avatar);
- Craig Lindeman as Milt (inspired by Sheldon Keller);
- Brian Wark as Val (inspired by Mel Tolkin);
- Aaron Churchill as Brian (inspired by Tony Webster);
- Lee Mayne as Kenny (inspired by Larry Gelbart and Carl Reiner);
- Bronwyn Kanitz as Carol (inspired by Lucille Kallen and Selma Diamond); and
- Drew Pittman as Ira (inspired by Mel Brooks).
The final member of the cast is Natasha Steggles as Helen – the secretary who dreams of being a comedy writer.
Keen audience members might well enjoy doing their own bit of research on the real-life writers and performers who inspired this funny piece of theatre. Not that anyone really has to do this before seeing the show: it’s pretty obvious that the director and cast certainly did their homework. Although the physical appearances between the actor and Simon’s inspiration may not align, the cast (with the director’s guidance), certainly bring the time period and characters to life.
The set, costumes and lighting all contribute to the successful trip back in time to the 1950s when clever comedy was the king and queen of live television.
Including interval, the show lasts for about two hours and twenty minutes.
Photos by Noel Grivas. Written by Debra Hely.
* Front, from left – Gary Belkin, Sheldon Keller, Michael Stewart, Mel Brooks; Behind Neil Simon, Mel Tolkin & Larry Gelbart. From: http://scriptfest.com/home/in-the-beginning-was-the-writers-room/
Keep watching this space – more exciting news to come…