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Djalili stars in Orton’s Butler

Published 27 February 2012

Comic Omid Djalili will return to London this summer to star in a new revival of Joe Orton’s farcical comedy What The Butler Saw.

The British-Iranian comedian, who played Fagin in the recent revival of Oliver!, will lead the cast of this new production, which will run at the Vaudeville theatre from 4 May to 25 August.

Orton’s final play, which was completed just a month before the playwright died, is a hilarious blend of twists, coincidences and one-liners sparked by psychoanalyst Dr Prentice instructing his new secretary to undress. When giving such a command, you don’t expect to be interrupted by your wife, her lover, an inquisitive policeman and a meddling government inspector.

What The Butler Saw is the latest of Orton’s plays to be brought back to the London stage, following the 2009 revival of Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Trafalgar Studios and the Tricycle theatre’s 2008 production of Loot.

In addition to picking a pocket or two at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Djalili, who finished his current stand-up tour of the UK this weekend, has appeared in films including The Mummy, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End and The Infidel.

What The Butler Saw is to be directed by Sean Foley, the director at the helm of one of the West End’s current hit comedies, The Ladykillers. Before gaining acclaim by bringing an Ealing comedy to the stage, Foley was best known as co-founder of theatre company The Right Size, which brought more than ten original comedies to the stage, including the Olivier Award-winning The Play What I Wrote.

Before Djalili gets audiences at the Vaudeville theatre giggling, the venue on the Strand continues to play host to the acclaimed Tony Award-winning drama Master Class, in which Cagney And Lacey’s Tyne Daly plays operatic diva Maria Callas.


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