Gallery/Ipswich: Major revival of Peter Shaffer plays comes to New Wolsey

The Private Ear. Photos: Alastair Muir

The Private Ear. Photos: Alastair Muir - Credit: Alastair Muir

The first major revival in 50 years of acclaimed British playwright Sir Peter Shaffer’s The Private ear and The Public eye comes to Ipswich next month.

The double-bill of two one-act comedies was first performed in London’s West end in 1962, starring a young Kenneth Williams and Maggie Smith. They then transferred to Broadway in 1963, starring Barry Foster and Geraldine Mcewan.

Offering a window into the changing attitudes to love in the 1960s, the first is set in a musky London bedsit where reclusive Bob, normally used to giving his full attention to his record collection, asks his slick friend Ted to help him treat his date to a slap-up meal.

The second takes place in a swanky London accountancy office where uptight Charles is confronted by eccentric private detective Julian who he’s hired to investigate his possibly adulterous young wife.

The new national tour stars Jasper Britton, fresh from starring in David Mamet’s Race as Charles; heartbeat’s Steven Blakeley in the dual roles of Bob and Julian, Coronation Street’s Rupert hill as Ted and Treasure Island’s Siobhan O’Kelly in the dual roles of Doreen and Belinda.

It will be produced on tour by The Original Theatre Company and Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and comes to the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, from November 4-9.

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