The comedy is set in the time when silent movies became the talkies, and film stars with squeaky voices shed enough tears to fill their swimming pools. A broken-down vaudeville act of two men and a girl move into the gold plated, mink-lined disaster area and try to cash in on the crisis by teaching elocution lessons to the soon-to-be-redundant actors. First produced in 1930, the play satirizes an industry that Kaufman and Hart (whose other plays include The Man Who Came to Dinner and the Pulitzer Prize-winning You Can’t Take it With You) knew intimately.
In Edward Hall’s new National Theatre production actor David Suchet revisits the role of the movie mogul Herman Glogauer, which Suchet played in Trevor Nunn’s 1979 Royal Shakespeare Company staging of the play.
The National Theatre cast also includes Victoria Hamilton (Suddenly Last Summer, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Adrian Scarborough (The False Servant), Marcia Warren, Issy van Randwych, Caroline Sheen and Jonathan McGuinness.
Suchet was last seen in the West End in a revival of Terence Rattigan’s Man and Boy. Hall is the son of director Sir Peter Hall and for the National recently directed revivals of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and David Mamet’s Edmund.