Monty Python legend Terry Jones is to direct the world premiere of Jeepers Creepers, a play about comedy star Marty Feldman and his ambitious wife, Lauretta.
Jeepers Creepers, written by Marty’s best-selling biographer Robert Ross, and starring David Boyle (Being Sellers, The Fool Who Dared to Dream) and Rebecca Vaughan (Austen’s Women, I, Elizabeth), will premiere in a four-week season in the Lounge at Leicester Square Theatre from Monday 18th January to Saturday 20th February, 2016.
Having written some of the nation’s favourite comedy in The Army Game and Round the Horne, Marty Feldman suddenly finds himself a star in his own right, with sketch show success for both the BBC and commercial TV. Then Hollywood comes a’knocking with the role of Igor (pronounced Eye~Gor!) in the Mel Brooks film Young Frankenstein. But while his wife Lauretta takes to the glamorous lifestyle with alacrity, can Marty come to terms with the burden of the fame he has always craved? Excess, depression, and the inevitable decline follow. Surely laughter, and the love of a strong woman can conquer all, although the eternal conflict of the clown refuses to fade. Is he laughed with, or laughed at?
Jeepers Creepers charts one of the most powerful and complex partnerships in comedy, through the unique gaze of one of the greatest: Marty Feldman.
Terry Jones has a personal connection to the play’s subject – he wrote sketches for and appeared in It’s Marty with Marty Feldman in the late 1960s. He said: “When I joined the writing team for The Frost Report, the first person to say ‘Hello’ and make me feel welcome was Marty Feldman. He was one of those very kind and very funny people who helped all the Pythons along the way. It’s lovely to be able to say a belated ‘Thank you’ by bringing him back to eye-popping life – sort of! – on the London stage.”
Produced by Martin Witts for Leicester Square Theatre.
CAST: David Boyle’s (Marty Feldman) acting credits include Peter Sellers in the stage play Being Sellers, both in London and on Broadway, Anthony Newley, Arturo Ui, Steve Strange, Pastor Manders, and the Radio Rentals man in Danny Baker’s Cradle to Grave. David is delighted to be playing Marty Feldman, adding another beloved, dead Jewish entertainer to his collection.
Rebecca Vaughan’s (Lauretta Feldman) theatre credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray (Bill Kenwright), Room 24 (Nuffield Theatre), Havisham (BAC). She is also Creative Director and Producer for Dyad Productions. Her film and television work includes Grace’s Land (Fearnort Films), The Interview (BBC), The Dead (C4). Rebecca is excited at the prospect of playing the power behind the comedy throne, not least because she and Lauretta Feldman share the same birthday.
Robert Ross (Writer)
Robert has been writing about the history and stars of British comedy for 20 years. His first book, The Carry On Companion, was quickly followed-up by The Monty Python Encyclopedia, and Benny Hill – Merry Master of Mirth. Robert’s many other books have included reference works on the Goodies, Frankie Howerd, and the BBC celebration Last of the Summer Wine – The Finest Vintage. His published biographies include Sid James – Cockney Rebel, and Steptoe & Son with Ray Galton & Alan Simpson. Robert has produced and moderated dozens of DVD commentaries, ranging from Brideshead Revisited to 30 Carry On films. His book on Marty Feldman, Biography of a Comedy Legend, was published to great acclaim by Titan Books in 2011.
Terry Jones (Director)
Terry read English at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and wrote and performed university shows. With Oxford cohort Michael Palin, Terry created the TV sketch shows Do Not Adjust Your Set, and The Complete & Utter History of Britain, before becoming founding members of Monty Python. The team not only conquered TV,
publishing, recording, film, and stage, but also most of the world as well; kind of like Genghis Khan with better puns, and added Spam. Terry directed Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which is often voted the greatest comedy film of all-time. He also directed Personal Services, The Wind in the Willows and Absolutely Anything, his latest film, released last summer. Terry wrote sketches for and appeared in It’s Marty with Marty Feldman.
Martin Witts (Producer)
Curator of the Museum of Comedy in Bloomsbury dedicated to keeping the artefacts and memories of comedy history alive for future generations.
Leicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place
London WC2H 7BX
Monday 18th January to Saturday 20th February, 2016