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The Last Cigarette in London at the Trafalgar Studios previewed 21 April 2009, opened 28 April 2009 and closed 23 May 2009. (Transfer from Minerva Theatre at the Chichester Festival Theatre where it previewed 11 March 2009, opened 17 March 2009 and closed 11 April 2009).
Simon Gray's The Last Cigarette in London, adapted for the stage by Hugh Whitemore and Simon Gray from Simon Gray's The Smoking Diaries, directed by Richard Eyre and starring Jasper Britton, Felicity Kendal and Nicholas Le Prevost.
Warm, candid and with a double dose of dark humour, this dramatisation of Simon Gray's The Smoking Diaries and other memoirs was completed just before his death last summer. Notable for his uncompromising honesty and a wit both fierce and fearless, Simon Gray's voice was uniquely his own - intelligent, probing and often outrageously funny. He faced life - and death - with unflinching courage and defiant humanity; even when writing about his own mortality, he lost none of his prodigious talent to entertain.
Following an acclaimed World Premiere at the Chichester Festival Theatre's Minerva Theatre earlier this year, The Last Cigarette transfers to the Trafalgar Studios from 21 April 2009.
Simon Gray's plays include Butley, Otherwise Engaged, Quatermaine's Terms, Hidden Laughter and The Common Pursuit, and his volumes of memoirs include Fat Chance, Enter a Fox, The Smoking Diaries and Coda. Hugh Whitemore's plays include Stevie, Pack of Lies, Breaking the Code, A Letter of Resignation and, most recently, an adaptation of Luigi Pirandello's As You Desire Me. His film and television scripts include the Emmy Award-winning The Gathering Storm. Simon Gray's West End theatre plays include Quartermaine's Terms, Otherwise Engaged, The Common Pursuit, The Holy Terror, Butley, Old Masters and Life Support.
The cast for The Last Cigarette in London features Jasper Britton, Felicity Kendal and Nicholas Le Prevost who are all reprisng their roles from Chichester, and the production is directed by Richard Eyre.
"Sir Richard Eyre made a welcome return to the theatre... with his staging of The Last Cigarette: an adaptation of the late Simon Gray's wonderfully rambling Smoking Diaries and his last journal, Coda, in which he confronted his lung cancer. Eyres production is splendidly fluid and full of humorous life." The Independent on Sunday
"We are lucky to have The Last Cigarette. Based on the diaries that were among Simon Gray's best work, this adaptation, which Gray worked on with Hugh Whitemore in the last year of his life, exhales some of the playwright's most mordant riffs. Richard Eyre's fine, unfussy production sifts unchronologically through a lifetime... The Last Cigarette deserves to find a London home." The Observer
"Simon Gray was a first-rate diarist, one vivid memory prompting a rich and resounding reminiscence... That he was not a first-rate playwright is demonstrated by this only partially successful attempt with Hugh Whitemore to dramatise the diaries in The Last Cigarette... Never mind, it wholly succeeds in making you reach for another immensely satisfying drag on its nicotine-stained inspiration, The Smoking Diaries and Coda. It should carry a health warning. The Last Cigarette is highly addictive stuff." The Mail on Sunday
The Last Cigarette at the Trafalgar Studios in London previewed from 21 April 2009, opened on 28 April 2009 and closed on 23 May 2009. (Transfer from Minerva Theatre at the Chichester Festival Theatre where it previewed from 11 March 2009, opened on 17 March 2009 and closed on 11 April 2009).