Haymarket Theatre Royal
Previewed: 9 February 2019
Opened: 19 February 2019
Booking up to: 25 April 2020
Buy tickets:Buy tickets online
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday no shows
Runs 2 hours and 30 minutes including one interval
£? to £?
(plus booking fees if applicable)
The new stage musical comedy Only Fools and Horses in London
Mais ouis, mais ouis, the world may have changed a lot since we first bid a jovial 'au revoir' to the Trotters of Peckham, but good 'ol Del Boy, Rodney and the rest of the gang haven't changed a bit... well, apart from the odd spontaneous bursting into song here, and the occasional dancing across the market, there.
A new stage musical based on the classic British television comedy Only Fools and Horses featuring the characters Del Boy, Rodney, and Grandad. Written by John Sullivan, the hit television comedy series was originally broadcast over seven series by the BBC from 1981 through to 1991, with a number of 'one-off' Christmas specials broadcast up to 2003.
Directed by Caroline Jay Ranger with designs by Liz Ashcroft, lighting by Richard G Jones, and sound by Rory Madden. Musical by Jim Sullivan and Paul Whitehouse, with additional music by John Sullivan and Chas Hodges. Based on the TV comedy series Only Fools And Horses written by John Sullivan.
When this production opened here at London's Haymarket Theatre in February 2019, Neil Norman in the Daily Express commented that "the rogues' gallery of sharpies and wide boys is recreated with loving care and attention to detail... Pretty soon, the jokes come thick and fast as the story works its way through a distillation of John Sullivan's BBC series, centring around Rodney's imminent wedding to Cassandra and Del Boy's attempt to find a love of his own through a dating agency." Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard praised it as being "jubilant lovely-jubbly... it feels like a loving, lively homage rather than empty imitation. Paul Whitehouse and Sullivan Jr present an appealingly ebullient compendium of what we loved most about the show, serving up ample helpings of wit, pluck, graft and family loyalty." Paul Taylor in the i newspaper explained how the "familiar routines are pleasingly recreated in what amounts to a compilation... There is something crucially missing, though, from this musical - and that's any truly compelling reason why they have to burst into song... The show is entertaining; I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. But lovely jubbly? Really? Don't be a plonker." Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail described how "much of the dialogue is half-inched from the series; and most of the acting a carbon copy of the telly cast... you could almost call it Mainly Clips And Highlights... this is a loving homage to a national institution. But if you want more than a nostalgic tribute show recycling old routines, you may find it less than cushty." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph thought that "only generous-hearted fools and die-hard fans need apply within for this endearing but theatrically under-achieved stage-musical version of the much-loved BBC sitcom... The script drips with gems of gags and all the catch-phrases you'd expect... the songs, though, are in one King Lear and out the other, if you catch my cockney rhyming drift." Dominic Maxwell in the Times said that it "is such an odd mix of the tried-and-tested and the new-and-half-cocked. It's got lovely moments. It's got moments you wouldn't buy off the back of a three-wheeled van... It's a well-meaning evening but it needs a generous audience." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times wrote that "the evening is basically a polite nostalgia-fest: certainly not for the era, and perhaps not even for the series itself so much as the feelings it engendered - both the warmth and the commonality here are rare beasts these days."
The original cast up to 22 June 2019 featured Paul Whitehouse as 'Grandad', Tom Bennett as 'Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter', Ryan Hutton as 'Rodney', Dianne Pilkington as 'Raquel', Pippa Duffy as 'Cassandra', Jeff Nicholson as 'Boycie', Samantha Seager as 'Marlene', Peter Baker as 'Trigger', Adrian Irvine as 'Denzil', Pete Gallagher as 'Danny Driscoll', Adam Venus as 'Tony Driscoll', and Andy Mace as 'Mike the Barman' with Chris Bennett, Oscar Conlon-Morrey, Chris Kiely, Melanie Marshall, Lisa Bridge, Andrew Bryant, Lee van Geleen, Bradley John and Samantha Lane.
Dianne Pilkington's West End theatre credits include the role of 'Elizabeth' in Susan Stroman's production of the Mel Brooks stage musical comedy Young Frankenstein at the Garrick Theatre in 2017; the role of 'Sophie De Palma' in Stephen Wadsworth's revival of Terrence McNally's play Master Class at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2012; the role of 'Belinda' in Gale Edwards' production of the stage musical The Far Pavilions at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2005; the title role in the pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, starring Lily Savage (Paul O'Grady) as the 'Wicked Queen', at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2004; the role of 'Sweet Lady Mary' in Ben Elton's production of the 'Rod Stewart' musical Tonight's The Night at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2003; and the role of 'Protestant Girl' in Robert Carsen's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Beautiful Game at the Cambridge Theatre in 2000.
"Fans can rest assured: it's funny, and the cast impersonate the original actors to perfection. It's set in 1989 and the Nag's Head pub is centre stage. Del Boy is flogging Leaning Eiffel Towers of Pisa to any dipstick who'll have one... In a rambling plot, highlights such as the chandelier and the bar-flap routine are among those cherrypicked from 64 episodes, in a show that all looks very Eighties... As a musical, it's all over the shop - it feels bunged together from a job lot of songs off the back of a van. Yet the show comes with a brilliant cast, riding a wave of affection for the sitcom's dreamers and prize plonkers." The Mail on Sunday
"It's brave to take on one of the best-loved sitcoms of all time and give it the all-singing, all-dancing treatment. But, as the brainchild of late creator John Sullivan and completed by his son, it's no surprise the result is proper cushty. In the heart of Peckham in 1989, Del Boy and Rodney are wheeling and dealing among a motley crew of old friends, all dead ringers for their small screen predecessors... It's a charming show with crackling dialogue, riotous musical numbers - and the odd tear-jerking moment. A dodgy knock-off? Mais non, mais non." The Sunday Mirror
"A hearty stage adaptation of the 1980s BBC television comedy. It has been assembled by Paul Whitehouse and Jim Sullivan, son of the TV show's late creator, John Sullivan. The original was so perfect that I trudged along to the Theatre Royal Haymarket full of doubts. My pessimism was ill placed. I had a blast... The audience quivered with happy anticipation, waiting for Del Boy to fall through the bar in the Nag's Head. Big cheers when that finally happened. We were back in the era of "cellulite phones" (as Del calls them), Liebfraumilch, cans of Tizer and Blue Stratos aftershave... Near the end, the plot accommodates a dream sequence, with Trigger foreseeing a future in which Peckham is colonised by artisan bakers and baristas and rap singers. He and the rest of the gang shudder, as well they might." The Sunday Times
Only Fools and Horses in London at the Haymarket Theatre previewed from 9 February 2019 and opened on 19 February 2019