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Theatre At The Tabard Presents THE LAST LAUGH By Richard Harris

The production opens at the Theatre at the Tabard on 16 November, with previews from 9 November, and runs until 3 December.

Theatre at the Tabard presents The Last Laugh by Richard Harris, the first in-house production in their relaunch season, following a short closure and return to the Tabard name. Nick Bromley directs David Tarkenter (The Censor) and Matt Wake (The Writer) in this hilarious and moving satire about freedom of expression and censorship, adapted from an original play by Japanese writer Kōki Mitani. The production opens at the Theatre at the Tabard on 16 November, with previews from 9 November, and runs until 3 December.

A beleaguered comedy writer meets a stubborn government censor with no sense of humour in repeated attempts to gain approval for his new play. As the writer jumps through the censor's hoops, a new play emerges while the two very different men come to understand one another and build an unlikely bond.

Set in a dystopian state with the war outside creeping ever closer, this witty play explores what comedy is and why it is so important to laugh.

The Last Laugh is by Richard Harris (Stepping Out, A Touch of Frost) adapted from an original play by Japanese writer Kōki Mitani. It premièred in 2007 on a national tour with Martin Freeman and Roger Lloyd Pack in the lead roles.

David Tarkenter plays The Censor. His recent theatre credits include The 47th (The Old Vic), The Best Man (Playhouse Theatre), The Red Barn (National Theatre), The Knight of the Burning Pestle, The Inn at Lydda (Shakespeare's Globe), Darkness (Edinburgh Fringe), Hamlet, Betrayal (The Byre Theatre, St Andrews), The Recruiting Officer, Our Country's Good, The Birthday Party, The Deep Blue Sea, Frozen, Season's Greetings, Kiss of the Spiderwoman and The Tennant of Wildfell Hall (Theatre by the Lake) and Absent Friends, Aladdin, The Winter's Tale, The Rivals, The Grapes of Wrath, King David - Man of Blood, Under Milk Wood, Depot, The Lonesome West, Dick Whittington and the Pi-rats of the Caribbean, David Copperfield, Two, Coriolanus, She Stoops to Conquer, Death of a Salesman, Of Mice and Men, The Resistible Rise of Arturo, Twelfth Night and To Kill a Mockingbird (Mercury Theatre). For television, his credits include Heartbeat and Byker Grove; and for film: SeaView, County Lines and Lawless.

Matt Wake plays The Writer. His theatre credits include Lately and The Players of Dieudoné (Lion and Unicorn Theatre).

Nick Bromley directs. His theatre career spans six decades, working in rep and on tour before his first London engagement in 1966. A Company Stage Manager since 1971, he has worked on many musicals and plays in the West End, including, most recently, Love Never Dies, King Charles III, No Man's Land and Tartuffe. He is the author of two books, Stage Ghosts and Haunted Theatres and Theatre Lore. He has also written two plays for children, Lotte Moore: A Child's War and Meet the Teaspoons!, both originally produced at the Tabard Theatre.

Richard Harris returns to the Tabard following his productions of Liza, Liza, Liza and Dogends. His playwriting credits include Outside Edge, Stepping Out, That Loving Feeling, Surviving Spike, Going Straight, A Foot in Door, Dead Guilty, Baby Love, Party Piece, Visiting Hour, The Maintenance Man, Three Piece Suite, Local Affairs and Business of Murder. However, Harris is perhaps best-known for his television work, writing primarily for the crime and detective genres and having contributed episodes of series such as The Avengers, The Saint, The Sweeney, Armchair Mystery Theatre and Target. He has helped to create several programmes of the genre, including Adam Adamant Lives!, Man in a Suitcase and Shoestring. His other television work includes The Darling Buds of May, A Touch of Frost and The Last Detective. He has written several screenplays, including the adaptation of his stage play Stepping Out which stars Liza Minnelli. Despite a career that has been largely spent writing crime and detective genres, in 1994 he won the prize for best situation comedy from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain for Outside Edge, based on his play of the same name.



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