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20110918

Russ Abbott, Harriet Walter, Emily Bruni, Hugh Ross and Allan Corduner star in a play that imagines a day when Tommy Cooper met absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco.

It could have happened.

It's a sunny morning in Paris, 1975, and in the throes of a paranoia laced drunken spree, Tommy Cooper may not be in the best place to enter Eugene Ionesco's world, where events have the logic of a dream, where people don't tell the truth or even know what it is and where mysterious and brutal threats are always close.

Survivor of Nazis and Stalinists, in permanent exile from his native Romania, Ionesco was always drawn to anarchic comedy as the only way to express the world.

His plays generate emotion rather than obvious meaning because he felt life was too unstable to mean very much.

Ionesco and Tommy Cooper's world views collide with surprising results, concluding that laughter is often the only real revolution we have left.

A play that waltzes us through thoughts about the state of the world, how to make a salt pot disappear, and how to travel on imaginary motorbikes, as Cooper and Ionesco ask the question; Is comedy just business, escapism or is it for the soul?

Tommy Cooper - Russ Abbott

Gwen Cooper/Concierge - Harriet Walter

Eugene Ionesco - Allan Corduner

The Actress - Emily Bruni

Miff Ferrie - Hugh Ross

Written by Annie Caulfield.

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

Produced by Gordon Kennedy for Absolutely Productions.

A comedy about what might have happened if Tommy Cooper had met Eugene Ionesco.