The Theatre of Comedy company, founded by Ray Cooney and other leading writers and performers of primarily comic plays, and which owns and runs the 1400-seat Shaftesbury Theatre (90 years old on Boxing Day), has announced the arrival of three new members of its board: playwright and director Sir Alan Ayckbourn, two times Olivier Award winner Janie Dee and multi award-winning director, writer and composer Jeremy Sams.
Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE is Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and has written 60 plays including The Norman Conquests, Bedroom Farce, Henceforward and Comic Potential, the latter co-starring Janie Dee.
Miss Dee will soon be returning to the West End in the Gershwin musical My One and Only, in a production first seen at Chichester, where she also appeared in Chekhov's The Three Sisters. She has also worked extensively at the National Theatre and the RSC.
Jeremy Sams has translated numerous theatre and opera productions, written music for over 50 shows for theatre, television and radio and has directed many productions including Michael Frayn's Noises Off - first at the National Theatre, currently at the Piccadilly and, soon, at the Comedy. He is writing the book for the stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is due to open at the London Palladium next year.
The Shaftesbury Theatre currently hosts the South African dance show Umoja. Shaftesbury Theatre box office: 0870 906 3798.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow