See You Next Tuesday

Previewed 17 September 2003, Opened 2 October 2003, Closed 25 January 2004 at the Albery Theatre (now Noel Coward Theatre)

Ronald Harwood's adaptation of Francis Veber's Le Diner De Cons - See You Next Tuesday in London starring Nigel Havers and Ardal O'Hanlon.

Wealthy Parisian publisher Pierre has the career, the wife, the friends and the mistress - and an unusual pastime. Once a week, his friends meet for dinner and invite the most idiotic person they can find. By chance, Pierre comes across the finest nincompoop ever. When the paths of these two unlikely dinner companions cross, the resulting chaos is one of pure genius.

See You Next Tuesday stars Ardal O'Hanlon (Father Ted, My Hero) and Nigel Havers (Manchild, The Charmer). This hilariously entertaining comedy is adapted by Oscar winning writer Ronald Harwood (The Pianist) from Francis Veber's award-winning play and film Le Diner de Cons. Renowned French screenwriter and director Francis Veber, is also known for his adaptation of La Cage aux Folles (reworked into the Hollywood film The Birdcage).

The cast features Nigel Havers as 'Pierre Brochant' and Ardal O'Hanlon as 'Francois Pignon', with Carol Royle as 'Christine Brochant', Geoffrey Hutchings as 'Lucien Cheval', Patrick Ryecart as 'Just Leblanc', Patsy Kensit as 'Marlene', Roy Sampson as 'Archambaud', and Ian Soundy as 'Voice of Pascal Menaux'.

Directed by Robin Lefevre, with designs by Liz Ascroft, lighting by Mick Hughes, and sound by Simon Whitehorn.

"Each week a bunch of yuppie Parisians get together for a sneering dinner to which they invite the biggest prat they can find... Ardal O'Hanlon as the chosen victim is a total joy. He's wonderful as the sacrificial lamb, a performance of radiant sweetness that gets our sympathy without begging for it. Nigel Havers, on the other hand, isn't tough enough - we need to hate him more to take pleasure from his come-uppance. Patsy Kensit makes all-too-brief appearances as a nymphomaniac mistress most men dream of, and I also liked Geoffrey Hutchings' marvellous cameo as the tax inspector. Just watch the unspoken horror on his face as he takes a sip of a classic wine which has been vinegared to make it taste cheap. It's a highlight in a light, enjoyable evening but one which could do with a few more belly laughs." The Daily Express

"Ardal O'Hanlon's gauche and likeable Francois Pignon turns up for a pre-dinner vetting in the lavishly-appointed apartment of Nigel Havers's suave publisher Pierre. Pierre is bent double with a golfing injury. And his wife disapproves of the cruel dinners. These problems escalate the minute Pignon starts to be helpful and finds a new way of channelling his obsessive nerdiness... The first half is splendid, with the tax inspector, beautifully underplayed by Geoffrey Hutchings. noting the spaces on walls where undeclared pictures have been removed in a panic. Patsy Kensit is a very un-French sort of plumply fulsome mistress, but she comes through well enough. The short second act tails off badly, and quickly, despite the hilarious consequences of mixing a bottle of Lafite with vinegar, and the dumbstruck realisation of O'Hanlon that he has been a derided figure of fun all along." The Daily Mail

"The plot is embarrassingly creaky and the conclusion sentimental. Nigel Havers is little more than lazily suave, hardly bothering to convey a cruel sense of humour, so his character's perverse pastime seems as tedious as Pignon's. Meanwhile, Patsy Kensit, playing the nympho, stomps in from another production entirely, a clumsily exaggerated caricature in stilettos. Ardal O'Hanlon is working hard to be cute and amusing, bustling round in his too-tight suit; but really this is an enervating travesty of light entertainment. The joke is ultimately on the spectator for being fool enough to attend. See You Next Tuesday patently wants to be the new Art, apeing that long-running hit's visual style. But it feels as if you're in the company of con-artists hoping they are on to a money-spinner." The Independent on Sunday

See You Next Tuesday in London at the Noel Coward Theatre previewed from 17 September 2003, opened on 2 October 2003, and closed on 25 January 2004.