Dead Funny  
Dead Funny

by Terry Johnson

Directed by Allan Stronach

Evenings at 7.30 :
Wednesday 25th, Friday 27th, Saturday 28th September and Tuesday 1st October - Saturday 5th October
Matinées at 3.00 : Saturdays 28th September and 5th October

At the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington

There's more to this Olivier Award winning comedy than a few cheap laughs and the occasional naughty giggle. It's really a brief look at the British sense of humour as it was twenty five years ago when Benny Hill, Frankie Howerd and Morecambe and Wise were on the telly.

In the week when a comedy legend kicks the bucket the Dead Funny Society gather to celebrate his life.

But add to that two problematic marriages, a declaration of sexuality and some rehashed comedy routines and suddenly everything turns fast, furious and farcical.

"A shatteringly good play, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking ..." (Daily Telegraph).

Photography by Robert Piwko

Cast List

Eleanor : Helen McGill
Richard : Ryan Williams
Lisa : Lucy Moss
Nick : James van Langenberg
Brian : Daniel Watson


Production Team

Director : Allan Stronach
Set Design : Phillip Ley
Lighting Design : Robert Irvine
Costume Design : Diane Carr
Stage Manager : Laura Humphreys

This is Helen McGill's tenth show with the Tower, having performed in King Charles III, Di and Viv and Rose, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Priory, Time and The Conways, Marching Song, Chalet Lines and Dumb Show in previous seasons. Helen has also performed with Putney Arts Theatre, where she played the role of Phoebe in Party. Before arriving in London in 2013, she acted with companies in Liverpool where her roles included Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Yelena in Uncle Vanya.
Ryan Williams has performed with regional theatres across the UK for over a decade now alongside furthering his studies in Vakhtangov and Method techniques. Before arriving in London, he acted with theatre companies in Glasgow, Edinburgh and even in the U.S. playing roles such as Brick Pollitt in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Paul Bratter in Barefoot in The Park. This is now Ryan's third show with the Tower as a performer, having previously appeared in Trainspotting and The Canterbury Tales earlier this year.
Lucy Moss came back to acting only recently; her most recent appearances were as Arkadina in The Seagull and Dr Susan Fleming in Talk Radio. Her career started playing the Mayor of Emerald City at school, and then the Nurse in Macbeth and Mum in Zigger Zagger. At university she stuck to the stage makeup side of things, too scared to tread the boards. Three years ago she took a chance on an audition for the Governor in Woodhouse Players' production of Chamber Piece, got the role, and hasn't looked back since. Lucy was born and raised in North London and loves having a theatre on her doorstep.
This is James van Langenberg's second production with the Tower Theatre Company, and his first modern-language play ever, having only ever done Shakespeare productions previously. This is also James' last production with the Tower, as he will be returning to his native Melbourne, Australia after Dead Funny completes its two week run of performances in October. He would like to extend his deepest thanks (and sincerest apologies too, he supposes) to the Tower Theatre Company, Rob Ellis and Allan Stronach for helping him realise his full potential here in London.
Daniel Watson has worked as an actor on numerous Tower Theatre productions including Nell Gwynn, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, David Copperfield, Macbeth, The Homecoming, Lock Up Your Daughters, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Habeas Corpus, As You Like It, Sail Away, Hard Times, Relative Values, Fallen Angels, Pygmalion, Shakespeare a la Carte, Rutherford and Son, Dancing at Lughnasa, Lady Windermere's Fan, Tonight at 8.30, An Enemy of the People and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Allan Stronach has directed fourteen shows at the Tower including The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Teechers, Road, Calendar Girls and (in 1998) Dead Funny. He also directed Sordid Lives, a Tower production at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010. He regularly worked with the National Youth Theatre including as Assistant Director on Murder in the Cathedral in both London and as part of the official Edinburgh International Festival. Away from directing he adapted the novel Kes into a play performed both professionally and by schools and colleges throughout the UK (and in Australia!).