When Harry Met Sally

Previewed 11 February 2004, Opened 20 February 2004, Closed 29 May 2004 at the Haymarket Theatre
Previewed 2 June 2004, Opened 15 June 2004, Closed 5 September 2004 at the Haymarket Theatre

A major stage adaptation by Marcy Kahan of Nora Ephron's When Harry Met Sally in London

Set over a number of years, When Harry Met Sally tells the story of two lifelong friends who eventually fall in love. Brimming over with style, intelligence and flashing wit, this irresistible 80's classic has been adapted for the stage from classic Academy Award nominated film.

Play adapted by Marcy Kahan from the original screenplay by Nora Ephron.

The ORIGINAL cast from Wednesday 11 February 2004 to Saturday 29 May 2004 featured Luke Perry as 'Harry', Alyson Hannigan as 'Sally', except Elizabeth Jasicki as 'Sally' (from 17 March to 3 April 2004), Sharon Small as 'Marie', Jake Broder as 'Jack', Kevin Collins as 'Joe', Elizabeth Jasicki as 'Helen', Richard Teverson as 'Ira', Cleo Johnson, Natasha Diot, and Peter Swander.

The SECOND cast from Wednesday 2 June 2004 to Sunday 5 September 2004 featured Michael Landes as 'Harry', Molly Ringwald as 'Sally', except Elizabeth Jasicki as 'Sally' (from 1 July to 7 July 2004), Susannah Wise as 'Marie', Dexter Fletcher as 'Jack', Kevin Collins as 'Joe', Elizabeth Jasicki as 'Helen', Richard Teverson as 'Ira', Cleo Johnson, Natasha Diot, and Peter Swander.

Directed by Loveday Ingram, with choreography by Mike Ashcroft, designs by Ultz, projections by Jon Driscoll, lighting by Nigel Edwards, music by Ben Cullm and Jamie Cullum, and sound by John Owens.

This production played eight-performances-a-week: Up to 29 May 2004 it played Monday to Saturday evenings, with Thursday and Saturday afternoon matinees; and from 2 June 2004 it played Tuesday to Saturday evenings, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon matinees.

The 1989 film starred Billy Crystal as 'Harry Burns' and Meg Ryan as 'Sally Albright' with a screenplay by Nora Ephron that was Oscar nominated for 'Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen'.

"The film, though entertaining, is hardly a sacrosanct masterpiece. The play, if you take it on its own terms, is perfectly acceptable. It slips down easily; it's shallow, but it at least has a shallow charm. Luke Perry and Alyson Hannigan play the young Manhattan couple... and they make their way brightly enough through a series of short, neat, sitcom-style confrontations. Admittedly it's hard not to be aware, especially if you know New York, how much of a fairy-tale the whole thing is. .. But there is no harm in fairy-tales, in moderation, while Loveday Ingram's production is good on New York surface detail." The Sunday Telegraph

"All the set pieces are present - the fake orgasm, the postcoital panic, the trembling resolution - while the Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus rhetoric is delivered with the kind of cosy, eye-rolling exasperation that both sexes can enjoy. On these terms, When Harry Met Sally is a satisfying, amiable success, and, to be fair, these are the only terms that really concern it... Nobody could pretend Luke Perry or Alyson Hannigan are great classical actors, but they are fine ciphers for the script's zippy wit, and while it's strange seeing these heroes of teen drama playing veterans of the dating game, they bring a sweet conviction to their roles... Admittedly, both leads are outshone by Jake Broder and Sharon Small as their friends, Jack and Marie, but in a play where a flash of Perry's buttocks is greeted with raunchy whoops of delight, it doesn't really matter. At times, it's more like going to see a band than a play, as the audience actively anticipates the greatest hits... It might not have you screaming Yes! Yes! Yes! - but you'll still respect it in the morning." The Sunday Times

"This stage adaptation plays safe and uninspired. Ultz's design even looks like a movie screen. But for a handful of short and sweet video interviews with old couples still crazy about each other after all these years, making it more cinematic than ever, Marcy Kahan's similarly safe and uninspired stage adaptation is faithful to the spirit of the original. Which isn't enough to make it live on stage... The performances are perfectly likeable. Luke Perry's Harry is much cuter and more attractive than Billy Crystal... Alyson Hannigan hasn't Meg Ryan's ditzy charm, but she's cute enough as naive, fastidious Sally, happy in her Marigolds and hoping for love." The Mail on Sunday

"Now it stars Michael Landes, of teen flick Final Destination 2, as Harry and the Breakfast Club's Molly Ringwald as Sally. Both make their West End debuts and are never less than adequate having started in the American theatre. But their sheer, bland neutrality makes nothing of the sexual chemistry that should exist between them in Loveday Ingram's production. And Marcy Kahan's stage adaptation regularly misses some of the film's highlights: After the famous fake orgasm in the diner, for instance, it needs to be the old lady who says 'I'll have what she's having'. Giving the line instead to a gay man totally defeats the gag. But if you yearn for Woody Allen and Neil Simon, if you are already bitterly missing Friends and Sex and the City then this could be a welcome, if inferior substitute. It has the same Manhattan glitz and gloss and also deals with people who can't get a relationship together, so preoccupied are they with themselves. In the end it is about the unhappiness of selfish and affluent people who seem to have only themselves to worry about." The Daily Express

"Unlike their stage predecessors the new leads know how to deliver a comic line and get bigger laughs. Molly Ringwald brings a quirky energy to Sally's fastidious nature that suggests she would fake an orgasm in a diner to make a point. Michael Landes hints that Harry may well have a dark side. Both get good support from Dexter Fletcher and Susannah Wise as the advice-dispensing best friends, though all on stage are wisecracks on legs... The essentials of Nora Ephron's screenplay remain... Marcy Kahan's adaptation neatly moves the action indoors and a decade on from the movie. But the film's short scenes feel truncated on stage. The result is a plodding series of snapshots from the prattle of the sexes. The action plays out in a rectangular box with sliding panels that evoke split screens and close-ups but end up grouping the actors in static rows." The Times

When Harry Met Sally in London at the Haymarket Theatre previewed from 11 February 2004, opened on 20 February 2004, and closed on 5 September 2004.