Madness and black comedy collide in hit play at York

25 Apr 2012 @ 9.39 am
| Entertainment
Michael Beckley, one of the stars of blue/orange.

An Australian soap star, an award-winning West End play, madness and comedy – it looks like being a lively three weeks at The Studio, York Theatre Royal.

The star is Michael Beckley, known for his role as Rhys Sutherland in Home And Away (scroll down for Rhys memories). The show is blue/orange, which won the Olivier Award for Best New Play and The Evening Standard Best Play of the Year.

Described as a stinging satire on race, mental illness and modern British life, blue/orange opens on Thursday, April 26 and runs till Saturday, May 19. It’s from the pen of Joe Penhall, who wrote the screenplay for post-apocalyptic thriller The Road, starring Viggo Mortensen.

Penhall also spent six years working on The Last King of Scotland, even flying to Uganda and meeting Idi Amin’s henchmen, but he allowed his name to be removed from the credits after other writers were brought on board.

Lekan Lawal as Christopher in rehearsal for blue/orange.

In blue/orange Lekan Lawal plays Christopher, a patient in a psychiatric hospital who claims to be an African dictator. Beckley is Robert, the psychiatrist.

Jonathan Race, who has appeared in both The Railway Children and Wind In The Willows at York, is Bruce, a trainee doctor.

When the play premiered in London in 2000 starring Bill Nighy, Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor, The Guardian’s Michael Billington called it a “stinging satire on the arrogant assurance of professionalism”. Tickets cost £12, £10 concessions and £8 for students and under-25s – check out the Theatre Royal website for more.