Adrian Edmondson is to star in an adaptation of William Leith’s at once richly comic, darkly satirical and weepingly emotional 2008 bestseller Bits of Me Are Falling Apart. Adapted by Edmondson and Soho Theatre’s Artistic Director Steve Marmion, the play will make its UK premiere at Soho Theatre, running from 2 November to 3 December 2016.
Commenting on adapting the story, Adrian Edmondson said:
“The one-man play begins with William, who wakes up one morning, middle aged and cranky. He’s alone, sleeping on a mattress in his office and about to visit his young child before his estranged partner takes him away on holiday for two weeks, a holiday he was supposed to be on, but it didn’t work out. As he wonders where it all went wrong and if there is any hope in fixing any of it, William dissects the current state of economy and capitalism, the death of love, the life cycle of the Cod, fictional anti-heroes and why our immune system is D-Day.”
It’s been a busy year for both writer and director, with Edmondson featuring in various television series (War and Peace, One of Us) and an eclectic 12 months for Marmion, including premieres of new plays, new World War II musical Only the Brave in Wales and Oxford Playhouse’s annual panto. Marmion says he “is relishing collaborating with one of Britain’s best loved actors and icon of alternative theatre”.
Bits of Me Are Falling Apart is designed by Lily Arnold, with lighting by Amy Mae and music and sound by Tom Mills.
Adrian Edmondson is no stranger to Soho, having learnt his trade at the Comedy Store when it was in Meard Street, and at the Comic Strip Club in Raymond’s Review Bar, in Walker’s Court. He is best known as a comedian in The Young Ones, Bottom and The Comic Strip Presents… He has since appeared in numerous TV series including Blackadder, Holby City, Jonathan Creek and War and Peace. He made a couple of improvised film with Les Blair for BBC’s Screen Two – Honest, Decent & True, and the BAFTA winning Newshounds. He has directed pop promos for Squeeze, The Pogues & 10,000 Maniacs among others. He has appeared in the West End in Waiting for Godot, The Rocky Horror Show and Neville’s Island. He’s written a novel The Gobbler, has recorded three albums with his folk/punk band the Bad Shepherds, and has also won Celebrity Masterchef.
Steve Marmion joined Soho Theatre as Artistic Director in 2010. He has directed two Verity Bargate Award (VBA) winning plays – Vicky Jones’ The One and Thomas Eccleshare’s Pastoral, along with First Love is the Revolution, Death of A Comedian (also at The Lyric Theatre Belfast and Abbey Theatre), Only the Brave (Wales Millennium Centre), I Kiss Your Heart, the French and English productions of Address Unknown, The Night Before Christmas, Realism (WhatsOnStage Award-nominated), Mongrel Island, Fit and Proper People, Utopia and The Boy Who Fell Into A Book. Last year, for Oxford Playhouse, he wrote and directed the hugely successful Christmas panto Aladdin and is about to head into rehearsals for this year’s panto, Cinderella. Prior to joining the company in 2010, Steve directed Macbeth for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Dick Whittington, Jack and the Beanstalk and Aladdin for the Lyric Hammersmith. In 2009 he directed the highly successful production of Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness for Headlong Theatre which received rave reviews on tour and at Soho Theatre.
William Leith has worked as a columnist and feature writer at the Independent on Sunday, the Mail on Sunday, and the Observer. He has written about a wide range of subjects, from food to celebrity, cosmetic surgery, fashion models, kings in Africa, tensions in Palestine, mineral water in Fiji, nightlife in Bangkok, Hollywood directors, diet gurus and the death of James Dean. He is currently writing a book about money.