Following the successful adaptations of Molière’s farces, this Christmas the Playhouse presents another fresh adaptation of a classic French comedy, with a grown up festive play returning to the venue after two years of babysitting the Everyman’s rock ‘n’ roll panto while its sister theatre was rebuilt.
Sex and the Three Day Week has been created by Liverpool-born writer Stephen Sharkey from Georges Feydeau’s L’Hôtel du Libre Échange. The cast includes Edward Harrison, Natalie Casey, Javier Marzan and Eileen O’Brien, and runs from December 5 to Saturday 10 January 2015.
In Sex and the Three Day Week, Sharkey takes Feydeau’s original and reimagines it for early 1970s Britain – a time of strikes, blackouts, free love and the three day week. With an explosion of middle-age crises, mistaken identities and misfiring sexual shenanigans everything is turned upside down when two couples explore relationships outside of their marriages.
Philip’s frustrated, and while his wife Angela thinks he’s past it, he wants to share a whole lotta love with Catherine from next door. When the naughty neighbours check in at the Paradise Hotel, it’s a night to remember – for all the wrong reasons. Throw in Fanny the French maid, Detective Inspector Connors of the Vice Squad, a snake called Cecil and Tom the mynah bird, and it all makes for a chaotic cocktail of confusion leaving the would-be lovebirds not even halfway to Paradise.
Edward Harrison, who is in the current series of Doctor Who, plays Philip. Edward’s recent stage credits include Time And The Conways at Nottingham Playhouse and Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth at Park Avenue Armory, New York. Alongside him is Natalie Casey as his wife Angela. Natalie is best known for her television roles in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Hollyoaks, while she has recently appeared on stage in UK tours of 9 To 5 and Legally Blonde. Natalie was last on the Playhouse stage in Flint Street Nativity in 2007.
The cast also features Peepolykus’s commander-of-the-absurd Javier Marzan (Benidorm, ITV) who returns to the Playhouse for the first time since No Wise Men in Christmas 2011, Lucy Phelps (Call The Midwife and Silent Witness, BBC; Earthquakes in London, Headlong/ National Theatre), David Birrell (The Last Days of Troy, Royal Exchange; Sweeney Todd, West Yorkshire Playhouse/Royal Exchange), Catrin Aaron (The Indian Doctor, BBC One; Aristocrats, Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Eileen O’Brien (Hope Place, Liverpool Everyman; Being Eileen, BBC), Robin Morrissey (Juno and the Paycock, Liverpool Playhouse; Twelfth Night, Liverpool Everyman) and Graeme Rooney, the star and co-creator of BBC 2’s The Ginge The Geordie and The Geek.
Feydeau’s classic text has been by brought 100 years into the future by Stephen Sharkey, who adapted The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Playhouse in 2011. Sharkey is a co-founder of The Miniaturists and his other plays include The May Queen at the Liverpool Everyman along with adaptations of The Glass Slipper and Hansel and Gretel for Northern Stage. In 2015 Sharkey’s version of The Great Gatsby will tour the UK.