Stephen Merchant is firmly stepping out of the shadow of Ricky Gervais. Well, let’s be honest, he’s never been in his Extras co-star’s shadow as such. His rather more lofty frame would have made that a touch on the impossible side of things.
Metaphorically speaking then, the comedian and actor is dodging any sun-blocking by his oftentimes collaborator and making his West End acting debut in Richard Bean’s The Mentalists, which begins its run at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre next Friday.
At the moment, the producer, writer and performer is tucked away in a rehearsal room with director Abbey Wright and co-star Steffan Rhodri (TV’s Gavin And Stacey, the Royal Court’s Posh and Absent Friends in the West End), polishing up Bean’s comedy about two men hunkering down in a Finsbury Park hotel.
Stuck together, the situation forces the pair to confront the truth of their relationship. As the pressure builds, things begin to unravel in this touching tale of friendship.
With under two weeks until the show hits the London stage, we can’t wait to see what Merchant, Rhodri and co have concocted. We’ll have to, of course. At least we have Helen Maybanks’ rehearsal room images to keep us going.
The Mentalists is taking part in Kids Week, our annual initiative offering a free child’s ticket with every full price adult ticket bought for an August performance. You can find out more and take advantage of the offer on the Kids Week website.
For performances not in August, or simply to purchase tickets for people older than 16, you can book through us here.