A major new revival of Simon Gray's classic comedy, "Otherwise Engaged", will complete a five week regional tour prior to opening in the West End at the Criterion Theatre on 25 October (press night 31 October). Directed by Simon Curtis and starring Richard E. Grant ('Simon Hench'), Anthony Head ('Jeff Golding'), David Bamber ('Bernard Wood') and Peter Wight ('Stephen Hench'), the production will open on 21 September at the Bath Theatre Royal and visit Oxford, Milton Keynes, and Woking before coming to London. Further casting includes Liam Garrigan who will play 'Dave' and Amanda Ryan who takes the role of 'Davina Saunders'.
Simon Gray's wickedly sharp, satirical, award-winning comedy was first performed in 1975 with a cast that included Alan Bates, Nigel Hawthorne, Julian Glover and Ian Charleson. The show was an instant success in the West End, winning the best play awards from the Evening Standard, Variety Club and Plays and Players. The play transferred to Broadway with Tom Courtenay taking over the lead from Alan Bates, and extended its West End run with Michael Gambon taking over as Simon Hench. The West End production gave 1,029 performances and ran for two years. This new production for 2005 will be the first West End revival since the original production.
Witty, urbane, sophisticated and selfish, publisher 'Simon Hench' is a man of taste and discretion, who is accustomed to keeping himself at a graceful distance from the messy distractions of his family and friends. He has a problem, though - well, several actually - only he just doesn't know it yet. Settling in for a morning in his lavishly furnished home with his new recording of Wagner's Parsifal, Simon is besieged by a deluge of unwelcome visitors and his usually cool demeanour begins to buckle as life finally catches up with him.
"Otherwise Engaged" will be designed by Simon Higlett with lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Clement Rawling, and is produced on tour and in the West End by Mark Rubinstein, Sonia Friedman Productions, Lee Menzies and TEG Productions.