This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows
Opened 25 April 2007, closed 2 June 2007 at the Bush Theatre in London
Transferred previewed 6 July 2007, opened 10 July 2007, closed 6 October 2007 at the Trafalgar Studios 1 in London
Following an extended sell-out season at The Bush Theatre in West London, Elling transfers to The Trafalgar Studio 1 in London's West End for a strictly limited season.
Mummy's boy Elling and his roommate, the uncouth reluctant virgin Kjell Bjarne are the Odd Couple of Oslo: a pair of confused souls taking their first steps in the outside world after years of an isolated and institutional life. Now given a flat in the city by social services, their mission is to re-assimilate themselves into society - it's either that or a return to the asylum. All they have to do is convince their social worker that they really are 'normal', even if it does feel safer sleeping in a wardrobe...
Elling is based on the novel by Ingvar Ambjørnsen and the original stage adaptation by Axel Hellstenius in collaboration with Petter Næss. Elling is presented in London in a new version by Simon Bent.
Elling in London stars John Simm as 'Elling' and Adrian Bower as 'Kjell Bjarne' along with Jonathan Cecil, Keir Charles and Ingrid Lacey who all reprise their roles from the original critically acclaimed Bush Theatre production (25 April to 2 June 2007) (casting subject to change). John Simm is best known for his starring role in the acclaimed television series Life on Mars. Adrian Bower playing 'Kjell Bjarne', Adrian is probably best know for playing 'Brian Steadman' in three series of the television show Teachers. His London stage credits include The Hotel in Amsterdam at the Donmar Warehouse and Brassed Off at the National Theatre.
"Adrian Bower's Kjell is an excitable simpleton, obsessively keen to get laid by a lady, and John Simm's Elling is a paranoid ex-mummy's boy. Eventually, each sociably finds another soul mate, getting over jealous fits. This show has landed some rave reviews but you'd have to be nuts to think it a seriously good play... Nonetheless, Paul Miller's production exerts an irresistible charm. The dialogue is scattered with explosively funny, off-kilter comments." The Independent on Sunday
"At times the evening drags, but under Paul Miller's direction, John Simm and Adrian Bower bring a touching believability to their oddball pairing, and Simm, on whom the proceedings depend, charts his character's journey from crippled agrophobe to playful self-ironist with winning intelligence. The play's take on mental illness is ultimately rather rosy but the script has some great one-liners, the actors' timing is spot on, and you'd need to hate life not to give the characters a chance." The Sunday Telegraph
"Elling is the surprise hit of the year so far... Finely directed by Paul Miller, it's both astute and kind. Simon Bent's translation doesn't have a dud phrase in it; Simon Daw's design - a bare box in primary colours - is the perfect playpen for men who've been made to feel they are infants. The two central actors are terrific." The Observer