Danny DeVito will make his West End debut alongside Richard Griffiths in a new production of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys, directed by Olivier Award-winning director Thea Sharrock.
The comedy will play a strictly limited run at the Savoy theatre from 27 April (press night 17 May) until 28 July. Simon’s classic comedy of showbiz and friendship premiered on Broadway in 1972 before being adapted in an Oscar-winning film starring George Burns and Walter Matthau, and a high-profile television version with Woody Allen and Peter Falk.
DeVito and Griffiths will now take on the roles of two kings of comedy, Wille Clark (DeVito) and Al Lewis (Griffiths), once known as The Sunshine Boys. After years of not speaking, when US TV network CBS calls for the vaudevillian greats to be reunited for a nostalgic History of Comedy, past grudges resurface as they take centre stage once more. Aging ailments aside, can this legendary double-act overcome their differences for one last show?
DeVito has enjoyed a long, much lauded career in Hollywood starring in numerous films including One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms Of Endearment, Romancing The Stone, Batman Returns, Junior and Twins. While this may be DeVito’s first time on the London stage, the actor appeared off-Broadway in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in the 1970s but found fame later that decade with his Golden Globe-winning performance in the 1970s television series Taxi.
The multi-talented performer is also a director with film credits including Matilda – which he starred in – The War Of The Roses and Hoffa. DeVito can currently be seen in hit American comedy series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
In contrast to DeVito, Olivier Award-winning actor Griffiths is a regular on the London stage with his extensive credits including The History Boys and The Habit Of Art at the National Theatre, Rules Of The Game and Galileo at the Almeida, and The White Guard and Henry VIII for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The Sunshine Boys marks the reunion of Griffiths and Sharrock, with the pair having previously worked together on Equus in the West End and on Broadway, and Heroes at the Wyndham’s theatre. The actor is also well known for his screen work which includes the Harry Potter films, Private Peaceful, Stage Beauty and The History Boys.
The creative team for The Sunshine Boys includes the Olivier Award-winning duo, designer Hildegard Bechtler (After The Dance) and lighting designer Neil Austin (The White Guard). Further casting is to be announced shortly.