Credits
Credits
  • Birds Of A Feather & Playing God - Marks & Gran
  • Dreamboats And Petticoats (Musical) & Save The Last Dance For Me (Musical) - Marks & Gran
  • Von Ribbentrop's Watch & The Blair B'stard Project - Marks & Gran
Birds Of A Feather & Playing God - Marks & Gran

PLAYING GOD – STEPHEN JOSEPH THEATRE, SCARBOROUGH. 2005.

A chance meeting with Sir Alan Ayckbourn led to our writing our first proper stage play for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where Alan was artistic director. Playing God tells the story of terminally ill, rock legend Ed, who tries to organise the lives of his wife and friends, even beyond the grave. We knew very little about theatre writing, but the nation’s greatest living playwright gave us a crash course and triggered a new phase in our career.

THE BLAIR B’STARD PROJECT – AMBASSADOR THEATRE GROUP PRODUCTION. NATIONAL TOUR 2006. TRAFALGAR STUDIOS, LONDON, 2006-7. 2ND NATIONAL TOUR, 2007.

At the height of the Iraq ‘Weapons of mass destruction’ controversy we were offered the chance to revive The New Statesman as a stage play. Rik Mayall jumped at the chance to reprise the part of Alan B’Stard, now the man behind the New Labour throne. The play was far more scurrilous and filthy than the TV series had been allowed to be. The press and the public loved it. We haven’t yet heard what Tony Blair thought.

DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS (MUSICAL) – NATIONAL TOUR 2009. SAVOY THEATRE LONDON, 2009. PLAYHOUSE THEATRE LONDON, 2009-2012. NATIONAL TOUR 2010, 2011, 2O12.

We were always intensely envious of Stephen Fry, who as a young writer was asked to update the book of Me and My Girl, simply because he was sitting in the right office at the right time. Then we happened to walk into the right office when producer Laurie Mansfield was looking for writers to turn a hit compilation CD into a stage musical. Having spent some time trying to turn out television comedy Goodnight Sweetheart into a musical, we took on the daunting task of Dreamboats and Petticoats. Four years later it’s still touring.

VON RIBBENTROP’S WATCH – OXFORD PLAYHOUSE PRODUCTION (JOINTLY WITH WATFORD PALACE THEATRE) OXFORD PLAYHOUSE AND TOUR, 2010.

Yet another chance meeting, this time with an Oxford Playhouse board member, led to our being asked if we would consider writing a play for what was one of our local theatres. At this stage, Von Ribbentrop’s Watch was just an idea on a wish list. As a result of this request we wrote first, the radio play, and subsequently the stage version, which was premiered at the Oxford Playhouse. The story of the Nazi watch generated enormous publicity and helped to sell seats.

SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME (MUSICAL) – NATIONAL TOUR 2012.

Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield, two of the producers of Dreamboats and Petticoats, (and now amongst our greatest friends) asked us if we would like to write the book for their new musical, which would feature the songs of Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus, prolific 1960s composers for Elvis, the Drifters, and many others. We were delighted to be asked and managed to create a musical that was quite different from Dreamboats and Petticoats, even though the songs are of a similar vintage. A second tour will begin early in 2013.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER – NATIONAL TOUR 2012, 2013.

The Comedy Theatre Company, who had adapted several hit television situation comedies for the stage, asked us to write a stage version of Birds of a Feather. We were willing, although we doubted the three original cast members would want to undertake a gruelling national tour. To our delight, Linda, Lesley and Pauline were enthusiastic to recreate their greatest hit, after a fourteen year gap. By the time contracts were signed, we were involved in writing Save The Last Dance For Me, so we asked Gary Lawson and John Phelps, good friends who had written a plethora of Birds TV scripts, to co-write the stage play with us. The tour was a sell-out. The Birds clearly had been missed by their adoring followers, achieving ovations on entry as well as at the end of the play.

Dreamboats and Miniskirts – NATIONAL TOUR 2014-15.

By 2014 Dreamboats and Petticoats had visited every corner of Britain, at least twice. Together with producers Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield, we created Dreamboats and Miniskirts, perhaps the first sequel in the history of jukebox musicals. The action takes place in 1963. It may only be a year or so after the Petticoats era, but the world is changing beyond recognition... and so is the music and the fashions. The new show finds Bobby and Laura struggling to build upon the success of their hit single - Dreamboats and Petticoats. Do they have a future in the music business? Do they have a future as a couple? The pounding beat music that is emanating from Liverpool threatens to wash away their hopes and dreams. Will they triumph? What do you think?

Love Me Do – WATFORD PLAYHOUSE 2014.

We once again collaborated with the Watford Playhouse, who co-produced the stage version of Von Ribbentrop's Watch. This time we took to them Love Me Do, our radio play about the Cuban Missile Crisis. We didn't want to make a simple, naturalistic stage play, and anyway it would not have been economically possible - there were over 40 speaking parts in the radio play, as well as hundreds of imaginary wedding guests. Instead, we worked with directors Brigid Larmour and Shona Morris to create a piece full of movement and music, performed by an amazing five-piece cast playing all the characters. It is probably the most satisfying experience we have had in the theatre, and we're looking forward to further productions of this play.

PLAYING GOD – STEPHEN JOSEPH THEATRE, SCARBOROUGH. 2005.

A chance meeting with Sir Alan Ayckbourn led to our writing our first proper stage play for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where Alan was artistic director. Playing God tells the story of terminally ill, rock legend Ed, who tries to organise the lives of his wife and friends, even beyond the grave. We knew very little about theatre writing, but the nation’s greatest living playwright gave us a crash course and triggered a new phase in our career.

THE BLAIR B’STARD PROJECT – AMBASSADOR THEATRE GROUP PRODUCTION. NATIONAL TOUR 2006. TRAFALGAR STUDIOS, LONDON, 2006-7. 2ND NATIONAL TOUR, 2007.

At the height of the Iraq ‘Weapons of mass destruction’ controversy we were offered the chance to revive The New Statesman as a stage play. Rik Mayall jumped at the chance to reprise the part of Alan B’Stard, now the man behind the New Labour throne. The play was far more scurrilous and filthy than the TV series had been allowed to be. The press and the public loved it. We haven’t yet heard what Tony Blair thought.

DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS (MUSICAL) – NATIONAL TOUR 2009. SAVOY THEATRE LONDON, 2009. PLAYHOUSE THEATRE LONDON, 2009-2012. NATIONAL TOUR 2010, 2011, 2O12.

We were always intensely envious of Stephen Fry, who as a young writer was asked to update the book of Me and My Girl, simply because he was sitting in the right office at the right time. Then we happened to walk into the right office when producer Laurie Mansfield was looking for writers to turn a hit compilation CD into a stage musical. Having spent some time trying to turn out television comedy Goodnight Sweetheart into a musical, we took on the daunting task of Dreamboats and Petticoats. Four years later it’s still touring.

VON RIBBENTROP’S WATCH – OXFORD PLAYHOUSE PRODUCTION (JOINTLY WITH WATFORD PALACE THEATRE) OXFORD PLAYHOUSE AND TOUR, 2010.

Yet another chance meeting, this time with an Oxford Playhouse board member, led to our being asked if we would consider writing a play for what was one of our local theatres. At this stage, Von Ribbentrop’s Watch was just an idea on a wish list. As a result of this request we wrote first, the radio play, and subsequently the stage version, which was premiered at the Oxford Playhouse. The story of the Nazi watch generated enormous publicity and helped to sell seats.

SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME (MUSICAL) – NATIONAL TOUR 2012.

Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield, two of the producers of Dreamboats and Petticoats, (and now amongst our greatest friends) asked us if we would like to write the book for their new musical, which would feature the songs of Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus, prolific 1960s composers for Elvis, the Drifters, and many others. We were delighted to be asked and managed to create a musical that was quite different from Dreamboats and Petticoats, even though the songs are of a similar vintage. A second tour will begin early in 2013.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER – NATIONAL TOUR 2012, 2013.

The Comedy Theatre Company, who had adapted several hit television situation comedies for the stage, asked us to write a stage version of Birds of a Feather. We were willing, although we doubted the three original cast members would want to undertake a gruelling national tour. To our delight, Linda, Lesley and Pauline were enthusiastic to recreate their greatest hit, after a fourteen year gap. By the time contracts were signed, we were involved in writing Save The Last Dance For Me, so we asked Gary Lawson and John Phelps, good friends who had written a plethora of Birds TV scripts, to co-write the stage play with us. The tour was a sell-out. The Birds clearly had been missed by their adoring followers, achieving ovations on entry as well as at the end of the play.

Dreamboats and Miniskirts – NATIONAL TOUR 2014-15.

By 2014 Dreamboats and Petticoats had visited every corner of Britain, at least twice. Together with producers Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield, we created Dreamboats and Miniskirts, perhaps the first sequel in the history of jukebox musicals. The action takes place in 1963. It may only be a year or so after the Petticoats era, but the world is changing beyond recognition... and so is the music and the fashions. The new show finds Bobby and Laura struggling to build upon the success of their hit single - Dreamboats and Petticoats. Do they have a future in the music business? Do they have a future as a couple? The pounding beat music that is emanating from Liverpool threatens to wash away their hopes and dreams. Will they triumph? What do you think?

Love Me Do – WATFORD PLAYHOUSE 2014.

We once again collaborated with the Watford Playhouse, who co-produced the stage version of Von Ribbentrop's Watch. This time we took to them Love Me Do, our radio play about the Cuban Missile Crisis. We didn't want to make a simple, naturalistic stage play, and anyway it would not have been economically possible - there were over 40 speaking parts in the radio play, as well as hundreds of imaginary wedding guests. Instead, we worked with directors Brigid Larmour and Shona Morris to create a piece full of movement and music, performed by an amazing five-piece cast playing all the characters. It is probably the most satisfying experience we have had in the theatre, and we're looking forward to further productions of this play.