Previews 30 July 2015, Opened 3 August 2015, Closed 19 September 2015 at the Apollo Theatre in London
A major stage adaption by Michael Simkins of Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer's novel Dear Lupin in London starring James Fox and Jack Fox.
An adaptation of the best-selling Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year: 'Dear Lupin, Letters to a Wayward Son' which chronicles the hilarious, often touching and always generous letters that the journalist and author Roger Mortimer wrote to his rather unruly son Charlie. The book is vividly brought to life in Michael Simkins' adaptation that reveals fresh and undocumented stories of Charlie's life and his relationship with his father. This production comes into London's West End following a regional tour.
The cast stars real-life father-and-son actors James Fox and Jack Fox. PLEASE NOTE: Only suitable for ages 12 and above. Adapted for stage by Michael Simkins from the novel by Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer. Directed by Philip Franks with designs by Adrian Linford, lighting by Johanna Town and sound by Matthew Bugg.
James Fox's West End stage credits include Robert Altman's British Premiere of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues Old Vic Theatre 2006. Michael Simkin is both a writer and actor. His recent London stage credits include Lindsay Posner's revival of Noel Coward's comedy Hay Fever Duke of York's Theatre 2015, Jeremy Sams revival of Michael Frayn's comedy Donkeys' Years Harold Pinter Theatre 2006 and Phyllida Lloyd's revival of Friedrich Schiller's play Mary Stuart Apollo Theatre 2005.
"Based on racing journalist Roger Mortimer's astutely funny and often touching letters to his son Charlie, Dear Lupin brings to life 25 years of intimate correspondence. Starring TV and film veteran James Fox and his son Jack this unlikely stage play brims with jocular irreverence and jollyhockey-sticks humour. The letters begin in the 60s where Charlie's brattish ineptitude starts when he fails to knuckledown at Eton, and continues foolhardily into the 70s as he flunks an Army career. James Fox is a class act playing a rollcall of characters from a Soho sex worker, sergeant major and camp lisping auctioneer. Mortimer's wistful reminiscences and droll asides provide a loose veil for a man burdened with ailing heath and an unhappy home life, but despite this, he remains a constant source of affectionate paternal wisdom. Dear Lupin offers a poignant biographical portrait of a bygone era, one which pokes gentle fun at upperclass tomfoolery while exploring the timeless bond between father and son." The Sunday Mirror
"Dear Lupin aims for curmudgeonly charm, but it's a show about droll dysfunction that keeps dropping the droll... Michael Simkins's stage version, performed by James Fox and his son Jack, attempts to flesh out the relationship. Mortimer Sr observes his existence from a distance, and here he emerges less as an uppercrust buffer attempting to dispense wisdom than simply unconcerned. Simkins's script and Philip Franks's production barely allow a moment of real conflict between Roger and Charlie, who goes into rehab for drink and drug abuse, and tiptoes around his HIV-positive status to spare his pater. Any display of emotion beyond singing the Eton Boating Song is viewed as about as attractive as leprosy." The Sunday Times
"While some will find this play's English understatement and repression appealing, others will find the over-privilege and self-indulgence appalling. For Roger Mortimer belonged to a generation in which nothing important or emotional was ever discussed. When Charlie's substance abuse leads to liver failure and he checks into rehab, Roger says: 'It seems very pleasant here, but what exactly are you here for?' Drink and drugs, says Charlie. 'Any chance of getting your mother in?' That's as close as he gets to admitting that his wife, Nidnod - who wears a wig, usually askew, as a result of having had 'her noggin in the bucket' - is an alcoholic. It goes both ways: Charlie shares with his father that one of his proudest achievements is 'peeing into a pint glass from 90cm' but never mentions being gay and HIV-positive. Perhaps I was alone in finding the piece a sort of absurd and tragic farce. For beneath the jollity, the japes and jokes are acres of unuttered, unutterable unhappiness." THe Mail on Sunday
Dear Lupin in London at the Apollo Theatre previewed from 30 July 2015, opened on 3 August 2015 and closed on 19 September 2015.