The Play What I Wrote

Previewed 22 October 2001, Opened 5 November 2001, Closed 4 May 2002 at the Wyndham's Theatre
Previewed 30 October 2001, Opened 5 November 2002, Closed 4 January 2003 at the Wyndham's Theatre

Sean Foley and Hamish McColl's 'Morecambe and Wise' comedy The Play What I Wrote in London

Sean Foley and Hamish McColl (AKA The Right Size) have refused to perform a tribute to the television comedians Morecambe and Wise when asked, instead they want to perform the play that they have written themselves.

Take two comedians, one tall with glasses, the other with short fat hairy legs, and who do you think of? Correct... Sean Foley and Hamish McColl - The Right Size. The two Laurence Olivier Award-winning performers where asked to star in a play about Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. What do they think of it so far?.. Rubbish. Kenneth Branagh, the director, persuades them to perform 'the play what they wrote'; an epic, of course, which also features a secret celebrity guest!

Comedy written by Sean Foley and Hamish McColl with Eddie Braben, the scriptwriter for the Morecambe and Wise television shows.

The cast features Sean Foley (Eric Morecombe) and Hamish McColl (Ernie Wise), with Toby Jones as 'Arthur'... plus, at each performance, a special guest star!

The surprise star guest was NOT announced in advance. During the West End run they included: Roger Moore, Ralph Fiennes, Ewan McGregor, Richard Wilson, Sue Johnstone, Richard E Grant, Jerry Hall, Kenneth Branagh, Jonny Lee Miller, Maureen Lipman, Minnie Driver, Dawn French, Miranda Richardson, Kylie Minogue, Sting, Ian McKellen, Cilla Black, Daniel Radcliffe and Will Young.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, with choreography by Irving Davies, designs by Alice Power, and lighting by Jon Linstrum.

Sean Foley and Hamish McColl's West End credits include the The Right Size: Do You Come Here Often? at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1998

"This new comedy is the oddest hybrid in London. It is a tribute to Morecombe and Wise and at the same time an original new work from The Right Size (consisting of Sean Foley and Hamish McColl)... The Play What I Wrote is basically the story of two double acts - one living, one dead - and a cunning exploration of the spirit of joy that informs both. At first you worry that tall Sean Foley (Eric) and hairy Hamish McColl (Ernie) have missed a trick by being all arty and not doing the voices properly, but the boys slip in and out of character brilliantly as Ernie unleashes his dreadful play what he wrote about the French Revolution, A Tight Squeeze for the Scarlet Pimple. There's brilliant support from a twerp, played by Toby Jones, who just wants to play his harmonica... This hilarious act of comic cannibalism-mad slapstick brings sunshine to a gloomy West End. Fans may argue it is not close enough, but it is undeniably fresh, vivid and rooted in the classy end of Fringe." The Daily Express

"Morecombe and Wise have returned, in spirit, to the West End in the funniest, most original and most inventive new comedy of the year. The premise is not one of simple reproduction, but of sniffing round the essence of our favourite television comics and absorbing their tricks and fads into the existing double act of The Right Size. The Right Size are Sean Foley and Hamish McColl, a superb, surreal fringe duo trying to revive their act with Hamish's play called A Tight Squeeze for the Scarlet Pimple. They are helped and hindered by squat little Toby Jones as Arthur the electrician, who also fills in for characters... Sean and Hamish, abetted by Morecambe and Wise's best writer Eddie Braben, and directed by Kenneth Branagh, no less, have concocted a wildly orginal and theatrical tribute show. Sean has an earthy, bendy-legged brilliance as a sort-of Eric, while Hamish redefines Ernie's self-deluding competence as a dream-like state of bug-eyed delight." The Daily Mail

"Comedians have, in their time, had many stupid ideas... Inexplicably, however, Sean Foley and Hamish McColl's extremely stupid idea - a play that 'captures' the spirit of Morecambe and Wise directed by Kenneth Branagh - works. In fact, The Play What I Wrote more than works - it evokes the spirit of E & E so perfectly that you'll leave Wyndham's Theatre slightly bewildered as to why you are not wearing a garish dressing-gown and eating sardines on toast in front of the television in 1977... The plot is Morecambe and Wise to the bone. Hamish, the double act's straight man, is so dispirited with their lack of success that he threatens to quit. Panicked, Sean tells him that he's managed to get Hamish's terrible French Revolutionary play, A Tight Squeeze for the Scarlet Pimple, booked into Wyndham's. But he tells the theatre that they are putting on a much more box-office friendly tribute to Morecambe and Wise. As the lies start to show, Sean ropes in his mate Arthur (Toby Jones) to pretend to be the guest stars they're lacking... Although the whole thing is so fabulously silly you'll feel like skipping to the bar in the interval with a balloon tied to each wrist. The pacing of the gags is merciless, and the energy so intense... it's a mathematical impossibility to leave the theatre unhappy." The Times

The Play What I Wrote in London at the Wyndham's Theatre previewed from 22 October 2001, opened on 5 November 2001, and closed on 4 May 2002 - return season previewed from 30 October 2001, opened on 5 November 2002, and closed on 4 January 2003