The stage of Caught in the Net, he is - as of yesterday evening - the director of two West End comedies, one on either side of the Thames. While the Vaudeville's Caught In The Net, Ray Cooney's sequel to his hugely popular Run for Your Wife, features a man with a double life involving two separate families and has a set divided into two, Ken Ludwig's Over the Moon, which began previewing at the Old Vic recently and opened on Oct. 15, involves a theatrical couple down on their luck simultaneously performing two plays - Private Lives and Cyrano de Bergerac.
While it is not unknown for a director - usually Trevor Nunn - to have more than one musical running in the West End, it is rarer for a director to have two comedies running simultaneously. But then Cooney, who has worked in the theatre since he was 14, is a highly unusual talent: a one man farce industry, a skilled director and acomplished actor.
Caught in the Net has received rave reviews and regularly brings the house down with an increasingly manic plot which relies on Cooney's direction as much as his writing.
The pre-opening publicity for Over The Moon has so far concentrated on fetching pictures of its female lead, Miss Joan Collins, wearing skimpy clothes. If nothing else, his current double act, at the Vaudeville and the Old Vic, offers a valuable antidote to current, oft talked about, depression.
The Old Vic Box Office: 020 7369 1722.
The Vaudeville Theatre Box Office is 020 7494 5045
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow