Lee Evans and Sheila Hancock will return to the West End next year when they co-star in new comedy Barking In Essex, which runs at the Wyndham’s theatre from September.
Written by prolific screenwriter Clive Exton, who died in 2007, but never performed, Barking In Essex follows the eponymous county’s most notorious gangster who, after seven years banged up, returns home to collect his booty of more than £3.5 million in untraceable notes. Unfortunately for him, his family are a little on the dysfunctional side.
Livewire comedian Evans, who plays the ‘village idiot of the underworld’, is best known for his high energy, sweat-inducing stand-up comedy routines that have sold out arenas across the UK but has appeared in London’s West End in productions ranging from big budget musical The Producers to Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter and Beckett’s Endgame.
Over The Rainbow judge Hancock, who plays Evans’ rottweiler of a mother, is one of British theatre’s most respected actresses who won an Olivier Award in 2007 for her performance in Cabaret and was made a CBE for services to drama in 2007. She was most recently seen on stage in The Last Of The Duchess at Hampstead theatre.
The pair are directed by Evans’ The Dumb Waiter colleague Harry Burton in the comedy by the writer whose credits boast TV adaptations of Jeeves And Wooster and Poirot, and the Richard Attenborough feature film 10 Rillington Place.
Barking In Essex will be the fourth show to entertain audiences at the Wyndham’s theatre in 2013, following current 60s musical Dreamboats And Petticoats, the Rowan Atkinson-led revival of tragicomedy Quartermaine’s Terms and Swedish production Doktor Glas, which marks the West End debut of original Wallander Krister Henriksson.