After 30 years, two one-act comedies from leading playwrights Tom Stoppard and Peter Shaffer are being combined for one West End evening. From 22 April (previews from 16 April), Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound and Shafferis Black Comedy will appear together at the Comedy Theatre.
Both short comedies play with theatrical conventions. In The Real Inspector Hound, Stoppard turns the country-house whodunnit on its head with a fatal piece of audience participation. In Black Comedy, Shaffer creates an unusual farce where light and dark are reversed.
Director Greg Doran returns both plays to their original 1960s setting and has assembled a cast of eight actors to play the 16 characters which populate the two works. Each cast member will play two contrasting parts on the same night.
The double-bill is the first production to be presented by Warehouse Productions Ltd, a new company formed by Sam Mendes, award-winning artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse. Warehouse Productions intends to mount occasional productions for the West End to run parallel with and as a complement to the Donmaris own programme of work.
The Real Inspector Hound and Black Comedy will open first in Guildford, Surrey for a 2-week run in March and then another 1-week run at the Richmond Theatre immediately before transferring to the Comedy Theatre.-- By Terri Paddock
Web Editor, What's On Stage