Following a sell-out preview run at the Edinburgh Fringe in August — where over 8,000 tickets were sold — the acclaimed production played a short season at the Leicester Square Theatre Aug. 29-Sept. 18. Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress was due to return to London for a second stand, Dec. 2, 2008-Jan. 29, 2009. However, in a press statement, it has been announced that the run has been canceled "after a US TV pilot [Rivers] was working on has unexpectedly been commissioned for a full series." In a press statement producer Martin Witts said, "It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress By a Life in Progress will not have its full London run. Audiences and critics have been unanimous in their praise and Joan and the cast never failed to get nightly standing ovations. We had initially hoped to just postpone the rest of the performances but can't get a commitment on exactly when this could be so we have decided to refund all tickets sold." More than £50,000 of tickets are reported to have already been purchased.
The show, a four-handed, part-confession, part-performance comedy drama based on Rivers' own larger-than-life rollercoaster life, was directed by Olivier Award winner Sean Foley (multi- award-winning The Play What I Wrote). It was originally billed that the run would comprise a total of 75 performances, to mark Rivers' 75th birthday.
In related news, Rivers will bring her comedy to the Cutting Room in Manhattan Nov. 4 at 8 PM, Nov. 5 at 8 and 9:30 PM, Nov. 6 at 9:30 PM, Nov. 7 at 10:30 PM, Nov. 19 at 8 PM, Dec. 10 at 8 PM and Dec. 17 at 8 PM.