The play, which originally premiered on the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008 and was subsequently seen in the West End during a run at the Leicester Square Theatre, explores the performer's life and career from a Dickensian childhood at a boarding school for disabled children to worldwide fame as a cult hero and the forefather of punk before his sadly premature death. Featuring classic songs performed live, including "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" and "Reasons To Be Cheerful," Dury will be played by Mark White, with Josh Darcy reprising his role as Fred "Spider" Rowe, Dury's long-serving tour manager and friend. Writer and director Jeff Merrifield is a life-long fan of Ian Dury. He developed and wrote the piece in close collaboration with Fred "Spider" Rowe and several of Dury’s friends and family members. He met Dury to discuss the possibility of a play about his life prior to Dury's untimely death in 2000. Merrifield worked with the late Ken Campbell on a number of productions and was awarded a doctorate for his study on Campbell’s work as he developed and first staged Illuminatus.
White has appeared in the West End in A Chorus Line, On Your Toes and Les Miserables. His TV credits include "Residents," "Second Thoughts," "The Bill," "Law & Order UK," "Dangerfield" and "Bellman, Box and the Vandal." Darcy has appeared on stage in Ken Campbell's The School of Night and In Pursuit of Cardinio. TV credits include "The Quest" and "Wild West."
Produced by Seabright Productions, Irving Rappaport and Playback Arts, the production will run at Edinburgh's Gilded Balloon from Aug. 4-30, then tour to Bristol's Tobacco Factory (Sept. 1-4) before arriving at the West End's Garrick Theatre (Sept. 9-11). It will then continue on tour to Buxton, Glasgow, Mold, Wimborne, Chesham, Cambridge, Great Torrington, Pontypridd, York, Exeter, Redhill, Fareham, Hemel Hempstead, Taunton, Harlow, Canterbury, Bracknell, Salford, Whitehaven, Hull, Burnley, Powys, Belfast, Barrow-in-Furness, Hexham, Bury, Durham and Liverpool. For full details, visit www.HitMeTour.com.