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Vaudeville Theatre: Previewed 20 August, Opened 29 August 2001, Closed 29 June 2002

Comedy written and directed by Ray Cooney.

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The long rumoured production, the sequel to Ray Cooney's very successful farce Run For Your Wife, finally makes it into the West End.

For 20 years John Smith, taxi driver, has had a happy life with his wife, Mary. He has also had a happy 18 years with his wife Barbara. Well yes, he's a bigamist, and he's got away with it for 18 years!.... That is until John and Mary's teenage son and John and Barbara's teenage daughter accidently log on to each other on the internet - and to their amazement, their fathers appear to have rather alot in common.... Now they've got to meet...

No knowledge of events in Run For Your Wife is needed to enjoy this sequel which is complete within itself.

Cast (as of 6 March 2002): Ray Cooney (up to 26 March 2002), Eric Sykes (from 27 March 2002), Russ Abbot, Robert Duncan, Carol Hawkins, Helen Gill, William Harry and Beccy Armory

Ray Cooney's Run For Your Wife had a highly successful nine year run in various theatres in the West End: Shaftesbury Theatre (March 1983 to December 1983), Criterion Theatre (December 1983 to March 1989), Whitehall Theatre (March 1989 to May 1990), Aldwych Theatre (May 1990 to September 1990) and Duchess Theatre (September 1990 to December 1991).

Ray Cooney's previous West End credits include the farces Two Into One (Shaftesbury Theatre 1984/6), Out Of Order (Shaftesbury Theatre 1990/1) and It Runs In The Family (Playhouse Theatre 1992/3).

News about the show

On 22 July 2001: It was expected that Ray Cooney's farce Run For Your Wife 2 would open at the Vaudeville Theatre on 29 August 2001.

On 6 August 2001: Performance details where confirmed, and booking opened.

On 1 November 2001: A new three month booking period was announced covering performances from 10 December 2001 to 2 March 2002/

On 19 December 2001: The current booking period was extended by four weeks up to 30 March 2002.

On 6 March 2002: Ray Cooney - the author of Caught in the Net - takes over Eric Sykes from 6 to 26 March 2002 after which Sykes is expected to return. Ray Cooney joins the current cast of Russ Abbot, Robert Duncan, Carol Hawkins, Helen Gill, William Harry and Beccy Armory. Also a new booking period - covering performances from 1 April to 29 June 2002 - was announced.

On 2 May 2002: It was confirmed that Caught in the Net would close at the end of its current booking period on 29 June 2002 after a run of ten months.

Extracts from the reviews:

"...Caught in the Net is a sequel to Cooney's huge Eighties hit, Run for Your Wife, and it is even funnier than its predecessor. Unlike most farces, Cooney doesn't have to spend the first act in laborious exposition. We already know that the hero, John Smith, is a bigamous taxi driver with one wife in Wimbledon and another in Streatham. And the farcical action goes into overdrive from the start, as his teenage daughter by one marriage and his teenage son by the other discover each other on the internet and seem intent on starting a fine romance, little suspecting that they share the same dad... Robert Daws reveals himself as a natural farceur as the bigamous cabbie... As Smith's lodger, Abbot is in vintage form... Eric Sykes, now deaf, virtually blind and in his late seventies, is nothing short of a phenomenon as Abbot's bonkers dad... The show is also heroically politically incorrect, with jokes about blindness, disability, senility, sudden death, funny foreigners and homosexuals piled one on top of the other with breathtaking disregard to the pieties of our age. It's sheer joy from beginning to end." The Daily Telegraph

"A ribald Ray Cooney farce about internet dating starring Russ Abbot, Eric Sykes and Robert Daws hit the West End running last night. It was a sequel to Run For Your Wife which rampaged through theatreland in the Eighties. As an attempt to repeat that success, it had dot.bomb written all over it. But in actual fact, this is so painful, it's brilliant... In the second half, the show's energy flags, grows repetitious and is finally exhausting. But if you lurch out shattered on to the Strand after, it's worth sparring a thought for an ageing cast who must do it all over again tomorrow." The London Evening Standard

"So farce arrives at the internet age. Always forced into uneasy contrivances to create the coincidence that triggers the crisis, the master farceur can now simply rely on the infinite mix-and-match possibilities of the World Wide Web. Thus the two children from each of John's bigamous marriages meet online our dads have the same name, amazing!... But this internet kick-off turns out to be the only concession to modernism in Cooney's latest, a sequel to his dangerously successful Run For Your Wife. Except maybe he has caught the modern eagerness to accelerate: his production is played at uniformly, unremittingly breakneck speed... If you leave at home your knowledge of the past 30 years of comedy, you'll have a good time. Don't expect characterisation, don't expect revelation or reality..." The Independent

"...The taxi driver John Smith is now 43, and his daughter by curvaceous Barbara (Helen Gill) has hooked up with his son by flustered Mary on the internet. Their get-together, on a simultaneous split- setting worthy of Alan Ayckbourn, is drilled into Smith's dilemma... As in the best farce - and this, believe me, is like Moliere worked over by Ben Jonson and Brian Rix - every line complicates the plot, every move puts someone in terrible peril... Bigamy? It's big o' me to even try to explain this plot. But the acting, directed by Cooney to within an inch of its life, is like some fantastic, esoteric Japanese Noh Theatre experience; only slightly shorter and much funnier. Strict, fanciful, brilliant, this is the funniest play of the year so far. Robert Daws gives a supreme farce performance as the caught-out bigamist." The Daily Mail

 
 
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