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Mr Whatnot

  • 15 Mar - 06 Apr 2013 Royal
  • Tickets from: £13
  • Running Time: Approx 110 mins
  • Suitability: Ages 12 and above
  • Access: Disabled  AudioDescribed  Sign Language  Captioned

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Production Talk: Post Show Talk Mon 25 March

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By Alan Ayckbourn
50th Anniversary Production

Alan Ayckbourn is one of the country’s most loved and prolific playwrights. Following on from our Ayckbourn at 70 Season in 2009 we are delighted to present one of his rarely seen early plays – his very first to transfer to the West End. This is the 50th anniversary production of a side-splitting play combining a tribute to the physical comedy of the silent movie era with the very British obsessions with class, cucumber sandwiches and bed-hopping.

In this hilarious fish-out-of-water tale, a naïve but highly imaginative piano tuner is summoned to the stately home of Lord and Lady Slingsby-Craddock. A case of mistaken identity leads to an increasingly surreal series of encounters over a summer weekend of tennis matches and afternoon tea, as Mr Whatnot attempts to win the affections of their debutante daughter Amanda. Think Mr Bean goes to Downton.

A wonderfully silly tale of havoc and mayhem, Mr Whatnot is directed by the brilliant Cal McCrystal, long-term collaborator with Spymonkey and physical comedy director for the award-winning National Theatre production, One Man, Two Guvnors.


Press Reviews


"It is odd, eccentric and completely bonkers. A must see."


"Kept the audience doubled over"

DAILY MAIL 22/03/2013

"Deliciously silly"


"A visual delight of physical comedy"

Audience Reviews

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The Creative Team

  • Masterclass

    Clowning Masterclass with Cal McCrystal

    Date Wed 27 March 2013
    Time 7pm - 9pm
    Price £15

    Clowning takes the performer to their most vulnerable and truthful place. Using the personality and the experience of each participant we will explore our foolishness through games and improvisations. We will also look at the beginnings of devising a comedy show. Come along prepared to laugh - at yourself.

    To book your place, call Box Office on 01604 624811.
  • Alan Ayckbourn

    Alan Ayckbourn

    It was in 1963 whilst acting with the newly formed Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, that I first dreamed up the idea of writing a silent film, for the stage. That is, a play that depended upon lengthy visual techniques with the minimum emphasis on dialogue which actors, as opposed to trained mime artists, could perform. Mr Whatnot was the result.

    It has no message - no claims to anything deep or mysterious. The people in it really do exist. Just buy a copy of the Tatler and you’ll see where I pinched what dialogue there is. They’re narrow, stuffy, unimaginative, boring and I’m very fond of them.

    I hope you enjoy the exploits of Mr Whatnot who blunders into their world. After all, that was why it was written, purely for laughter.

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