NEWS: Terry Johnson revives Dead Funny with all-star cast including Katherine Parkinson & Rufus Jones

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Writer and director Terry Johnson will revive his award-winning 1994 comedy DEAD FUNNY with an all-star cast for a limited season at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre, running from 17 October 2016 to 4 February 2017, with a press night on 3 November. Tickets are now on sale.

Eleanor wants a child. Richard would oblige if he could, but he’s too busy running the Dead Funny Society. When British comedy heroes Frankie Howerd and Benny Hill turn up their toes in the same week the Society gather for a celebration of hilarity and laughter. But Eleanor’s grin masks a grimace. When your marriage is deader than either Morcambe or Wise it’s hard to see the funny side of things.

Terry Johnson’s “Painfully funny and funnily painful” (The Times) comedy, DEAD FUNNY returns with Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, In The Club, Humans), Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentleman, Benidorm, Whitechapel), Ralf Little (The Royle Family, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, The Cafe), Emily Berrington (The Inbetweeners 2, Humans, 24) and Rufus Jones (W1A, Hunderby, The Casual Vacancy).

DEAD FUNNY is designed by Richard Kent, with lighting by Paul Pyant, sound by John Leonard and casting by Gabrielle Dawes.

Producer Nica Burns said:

“A revival of this wonderful play is long overdue. Like life, it’s as funny as it is moving and needs an outstandingly talented cast. So for the 21st anniversary production, here they are…”


Katherine Parkinson plays Eleanor. Katherine’s theatre credits include Before The Party (Almeida Theatre), Absent Friends (Harold Pinter Theatre), 66 Books (Bush Theatre), School For Scandal (Barbican Theatre), Season’s Greetings (National Theatre), Cock (Royal Court Theatre) and The Seagull (Royal Court Theatre). TV and film credits include Humans, The Kennedys, In the Club, The IT Crowd, Inside Number 9, Knocking on Dave’s Door, Doc Martin, Whites, The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, The Honourable Woman, Sherlock, Easy Virtue, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and The Boat That Rocked. Radio credits include The Resistance (BBC Radio 4), Don’t Start (Avalon), Souvenirs (BBC Radio 4), The Drover of Clissold Common (BBC Radio 4), The Lost Weekend (BBC Ireland), Mouthtrap (BBC Radio 4), The Odd Half Hour (BBC Radio 4), Good Times Roll (BBC Radio 4) and A Certain Smile (BBC Radio 4).

Steve Pemberton plays Brian. Steve’s theatre credits include She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre), The 25th Annual Puttnam County Spelling Bee (Donmar Warehouse), The Drowsy Chaperone and Art (West End). Steve is well known for his work on television which includes The League of Gentlemen, Camping, Happy Valley, Whitechapel, Inside No.9, Benidorm, Psychoville, Mapp & Lucia and Doctor Who. Steve has also appeared on film in Mr Bean’s Holiday, I Could Never Be Your Woman, Lassie, The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Match Point and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Radio credits include On The Town With The League Of Gentlemen.

Ralf Little plays Nick. Ralf is best known for his roles in The Royle Family, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and The Cafe, which he also created and co-wrote. Ralf’s theatre credits include The Nap (Sheffield Crucible), The Ladykillers (Vaudeville Theatre), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Liverpool Playhouse), Presence (Royal Court Theatre) for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award, The Aliens (Bush Theatre), 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Bush Theatre) and On The Ceiling (Garrick Theatre). Further television credits include Our Zoo, The A Word, Married Single Other and Massive. Ralf’s film credits include 24 Hour Party People, Telstar, and The Waiting Room.

Emily Berrington plays Lisa. Emily made her theatre debut in Children’s Children (Almeida Theatre). Emily is perhaps best known for her role in the BAFTA-nominated TV series Humans, Channel 4’s biggest original drama hit in twenty years, she recently completed filming the highly anticipated second series. Other television credits include The White Queen, Outnumbered, 24: Live Another Day and Sons of Liberty. Emily appeared in the film The Inbetweeners 2 and she has also finished shooting The Hippopotamus, a film adaptation of Stephen Fry’s novel.

Rufus Jones plays Richard. Rufus’s theatre credits include No Son of Mine (Edinburgh Fringe), Conspiracy (Dutch Elm Conservatoire UK Tour and Lyric Theatre, Perrier Nomination), Major Barbara (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Ben Hur (BAC). Rufus’s television credits include Tom in Camping, Doctor Foggerty in Hunderby and Hunderby Revisited, Cosmo in Stag, David Wilkes in W1A, Miles in JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy and Terry Jones in Holy Flying Circus. Other credits include Bob Servant Independent, Mongrels, Episodes, Peep Show, Fresh Meat and Extras. Film credits include Paddington and Bill. Rufus will also appear in The Foreigner, with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan.

Terry Johnson’s work as a Playwright and Director has been performed worldwide and he is the recipient of a dozen major theatre awards. His writing and directing theatre credits include The Libertine (Theatre Royal, Haymarket), Ken (Hampstead Theatre), Strictly Ballroom (Global Creatures/WYP) adapted from the original by Craig Pearce and Baz Luhrmann, Mrs Henderson Presents (Theatre Royal Bath), Oh What A Lovely War (UK Tour and Theatre Royal, Stratford East), Seminar (Hampstead Theatre), Fings Aint Wot They Used T’be (Theatre Royal, Stratford East), The Duck House (UK Tour and West End) and Hysteria (Hampstead Theatre). Further theatre credits include End of the Rainbow (Trafalgar Studios, West End & UK Tour), The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Vaudeville theatre), La Cage aux Folles (Menier Chocolate Factory, Playhouse Theatre and on Broadway), Rainman (Apollo Theatre), Whipping it Up (Bush Theatre, West End and UK Tour), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Gielgud Theatre and Garrick Theatre), Hitchcock Blonde (Royal Court and West End), Entertaining Mr Sloane (Theatre Royal Bath), The Graduate (Gielgud Theatre and on Broadway) and Dead Funny (Hampstead Theatre and Vaudeville Theatre). For the National Theatre Terry has written and directed Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, The London Cuckolds and Sparkleshark.Terry has also written and directed numerous television dramas, including Not Only But Always (Channel 4), The Bite (BBC), The Man Who Lost His Head and Cor Blimey! (ITV). His film Way Upstream was chosen for the London Film Festival and Insignificance was the official British Entry for Cannes 1985.

DEAD FUNNY is presented in the West End by Nica Burns, Paula Marie Black, Emma Brünjes for ebp and TC Beech Ltd.

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Press Releases on Twitter
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MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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