By Terry Johnson
2-6 May 2006
On the day that Benny Hill double speeds off towards his final punch line, an impromptu ‘celebration’ is called in the living room of Richard and Eleanor. His wife would rather be saving their marriage, but Richard, as a proud member of the Dead Funny Society, would rather be celebrating the unique genius of Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd, Morecambe and Wise, Tony Hancock and, now, Benny Hill.
Slapstick meets slap and tickle in Terry Johnson’s award winning comic tragedy as fellow Dead Funny members Nick and Lisa and bachelor neighbour, Brian, turn up with custard pies for a proper send off.
Including a whole raft of fond references to routines from Britain’s finest, dead, comedians, Dead Funny is both hilariously funny and surprisingly tender, as the five characters come face to face with embarrassing revelations and disastrous disclosures. Contains great gags, some nudity (titter ye not!) and some “language” (ooh no matron no!)
Dead Funny was first performed at the Hampstead Theatre in January 1994. The play went on to enjoy a hugely successful run at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre, and subsequently won a number of awards, including Best New Play (Critics’ Circle), The Writers’ Guild Award for the Best West End Play and an award of £25,000 from Lloyds Bank to Terry Johnson, (who also wrote The Graduate), as Playwright of the Year.