World premiere of new play by Frank McGuinness
12 Oct 2022
Loveday Ingram (Fatal Attraction & Baskerville – Ambassadors Theatre Group & The Rover, RSC) directs a stellar cast of Ian Bartholomew (Geoff Metcalfe, Coronation Street), Ingrid Craigie (The Cripple of Inishmaan, West End and Broadway, Blood, You Are Not My Mother) and Greg Hicks (title roles in Coriolanus, King Lear,Hamlet, Royal Shakespeare Company) in a brand-new play by renowned playwright Frank McGuinness.
Dinner With Groucho comes to Oxford Playhouse, as part of its world premiere tour, from Wednesday 2 to Saturday 5 November.
Two men, together, on the edge of heaven.
In a strange restaurant two American giants who revere each other, Groucho Marx and T.S. Eliot, meet for an imaginary dinner, both in their own ways great defiant spirits, creating magic and anarchy, revealing secrets and sorrows, the evening presided over by a Proprietor, who seems to control the workings of the universe. Or does she? In Dinner With Groucho all is revealed, or nearly so...
From Frank McGuinness, the award-winning writer of iconic plays such as Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me and The Factory Girls comes this fast-paced fictional dinner date like no other.
Frank McGuinness, Playwright commented:
“Very happy to be back with b*spoke theatre company and have them bring Dinner With Groucho to the stage.”
Producer Alison McKenna added
“I am very excited to bring Frank McGuinness' magnetic and magical play, Dinner With Groucho to audiences at Oxford Playhouse this Autumn. b*spoke theatre company has always been the sum of its parts and partnerships, and it is a great honour to be working with Frank McGuinness again and this calibre of creatives.”
Ian Bartholomew stars as Groucho Marx in this unique and engaging production. Ian is an award-winning actor and singer, who has been nominated for four Olivier Awards for musicals in London’s West End and has won an MEN Award for playing Doolittle in Pygmalion at the Manchester Royal Exchange. He is best known for his performance as Geoff Metcalfe in Coronation Street, winning three Inside Soap Awards, including Best Actor and Best Villain.
Greg Hicks stars as T.S. Eliot. Greg is an Associate Artist of the RSC. Since joining in 1976 he has played many major roles including Macbeth, Coriolanus, (Olivier nomination and Critics Circle Award winner), Leontes, Lear, Claudius, Ghost of Hamlet, Caesar, Brutus, and Harry in Family Reunion. At the National Theatre and the Old Vic, he worked extensively with Sir Peter Hall.
Ingrid Craigie stars as Proprietor. Awarded the Special Tribute Award by the Irish Times Theatre Awards for her lifetime contribution to Irish theatre, Ingrid’s recent work includes The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Chichester Theatre Festival and Lyric Hammersmith) and Richard III (Druid, Abbey Theatre and Lincoln Center). Television appearances include The Madame Blanc Mysteries for Channel 5, the ABC pilot Epic and her IFTA nominated performance as Mary in the series Blood.
The creative team will include Adam Wiltshire (set design), Emmy-award winning costume designer Joan Bergin (costume design) Gabriel O’Brien (costume associate), Paul Keogan (lighting design), David Bolger (choreography) and Conor Linehan (original composition & sound design).
“Sharp, funny, smart and delicious, delivered with breakneck speed, comic timing and subtlety”
- Irish Times (four stars)
“A fascinating, joyous exploration of humanity… Delivered to perfection”
- Sunday Independent