Sunshine Boys to take to stage

IPSWICH theatre group Gallery Players is to present The Sunshine Boys at the Sir John Mills Theatre from November 7 to November 10.Written by Neil Simon, the play follows the attempt by a young theatrical agent to re-unite his elderly uncle, a former vaudevillian great, with his long-time stage partner for a TV appearance to celebrate comic theatre.

IPSWICH theatre group Gallery Players is to present The Sunshine Boys at the Sir John Mills Theatre November 7 to 10th

Written by Neil Simon, the play follows the attempt by a young theatrical agent to re-unite his elderly uncle, a former vaudevillian great, with his long-time stage partner for a TV appearance to celebrate comic theatre.

Despite their legendary reputation, the two old men have not spoken in twelve years.

Obviously, they have many issues to work out before they are ready to return to the public eye, and not just which props to use in their sketch. Things gradually become more heated until a series of confrontations threatens a tragic end.


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A spokesman for Gallery Players said: “Alternately witty and moving, the play has a balance and internal rhythm which is hard to resist. It is loaded with in-jokes and steeped in a sense of nostalgia which underscores the action.”

The play was first produced in 1972 with Jack Albertson and Sam Levine in the lead roles. Neil Simon adapted the play for the screen and in the consequent 1975 film with Walter Matthau and George Burns, won several Oscar nominations. Ironically Simon's inspiration was the real-life vaudeville team of Joe Smith and Charles Dale who, unlike their theatrical counterparts, were inseparable life-long friends.

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The spokesman added: “There is a real feel-good factor in this play yet it also allows affection for theatre to become an effective tool with which to question the nature of long-standing professional relationships. It raises questions of loss, change, and friendship and there are some tender and revealing moments.”

Peter Phillips takes on the role of Willie, Mike Cook plays his nephew Ben, and Brenda Caddick and Amy Restall both play nurses.

Conrad Lord plays Willie's counterpart in vaudeville, Al and Steve Wooldridge directs.

For more information and tickets call the box office on 01473 211498.

Do you enjoy productions by Gallery Players? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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