Tag Archives: Les Dennis

End of the Pier – 4 Stars


End of the Pier

Park Theatre

Reviewed – 16th July 2018


provocative in challenging our perceptions on censorship and political correctness


‘All comedy needs a victim’. This well-known adage is one that is repeated constantly and forms the focal argument for new black comedy End Of The Pier, a play that centres on the often contradictory lives of comics. Making someone laugh should be a joyous action, yet, when it is part of a huge money making business, where your jokes and reputation are under constant scrutiny, it can be rather humourless. Thought-provoking yet highly entertaining, End Of The Pier offers an insider look into how far some will go to earn the last laugh.

Bobby (Les Dennis) used to be a household name. As one half of the once much loved comic double-act, Chalk and Cheese, Bobby helped champion the voice of the working-class, bringing it to the forefront of TV viewing. As years went by, so the tastes and ideas on comedic acceptability changed, leaving Bobby behind, insignificant and lacking laughs. Faced with a lonely life of solitude – and the odd bit of panto – in walks Michael, (Blake Harrison) the nation’s current favourite comedian. He is in trouble, and desperately needs Bobby’s help to try and save his career. Whilst Bobby is being thrust back into the world of showbiz, the darker side of stand-up comedy rears its nasty head, bringing to question, what happens when, deep down, you’re not the type of person everyone thinks you are?

End Of The Pier’s playwright Danny Robins is no stranger to the comedy circuit. He learnt his craft as a stand-up, before turning more behind the scenes, writing jokes for some of the UK’s most well known comedians. His in-depth personal experience provides an authentic depiction of that world, within the play. Not to mention, having Les Dennis on board, whose own life has, in many ways, chartered a very similar path as that of his character.

Robins’ fascination with the evolution of comedy, as well as, dissecting the fundamentals behind why we laugh, comes across clearly. Bobby and Michael are from completely different eras. Where the first half of the play distinguishes their differences, the second half blurs lines, revealing how many of the outdated beliefs and prejudices of yesteryear are still highly present. We have only learnt to suppress them. Robins sophisticatedly offers arguments and social commentary that will play on your mind for days after seeing the production.

The cast give well-rounded performances, with particular mention of Blake Harrison (of The Inbetweeners fame), whose change from Mr Nice Guy to Most Reviled is quite the turnaround. The naturalistic set that has such details as a working kettle and half-eaten biscuits, keeps to the authentic tone established.

End Of The Pier is provocative in challenging our perceptions on censorship and political correctness, yet successfully achieves a nuanced balance in still being amusing and accessible. A must-see if you like your laughs with a touch of intelligence.


Reviewed by Phoebe Cole

Photography by Simon Annand


End of the Pier

Park Theatre until 11th August


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Addams Family – Rehearsals

Rehearsals are well under way for the UK & Ireland premiere of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, starring Samantha Womack as Morticia Addams, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday Addams, Cameron Blakely as Gomez Addams, Valda Aviks as Grandma Addams, Charlotte Page as Alice Beineke, Dale Rapley as Mal Beineke, Grant McIntyre as Pugsley Addams, Dickon Gough as Lurch and Oliver Ormson as Lucas Beineke.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY will open at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on 20 April where it will run until 29 April before embarking on a UK & Ireland tour until 4 November 2017.

Directed by Matthew White, THE ADDAMS FAMILY is a musical comedy, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the creators of multi award-winning Jersey Boys, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is produced by Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, in association with the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, and is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.




Rehearsal Photography by Craig Sugden



20-29 April 2017 Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
www.edtheatres.com 0131 529 6000

9-13 May 2017 Royal & Derngate, Northampton
www.royalandderngate.co.uk 01604 624811

16-20 May 2017 New Wimbledon Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-wimbledon-theatre 0844 871 7646

23-27 May 2017 Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
www.marlowetheatre.com 01227 787787

30 May – 3 June 2017 Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
www.southendtheatres.org.uk 01702 351 135

6-10 June 2017 Birmingham Hippodrome www.birminghamhippodrome.com 0844 338 5000

13-17 June 2017 Theatre Royal, Bath
www.theatreroyal.org.uk 01225 448844

20-24 June 2017 Hall for Cornwall, Truro
www.hallforcornwall.co.uk 01872 262466

27 June – 1 July 2017 Nottingham Theatre Royal
www.trch.co.uk 0115 989 5555

4-8 July 2017 The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
www.bradford-theatres.co.uk 01274 432000

18 – 29 July 2017 Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
www.mayflower.org.uk 02380 711811

1-12 August 2017 Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre
www.wmc.org.uk 029 2063 6464

15-26 August 2017 Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin
www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie 0844 847 2455

29 August – 9 September 2017 The Lowry, Salford
www.thelowry.com 0843 208 6000

12-16 September 2017 Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk 0114 249 6000

19-23 September 2017 Bristol Hippodrome
www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome 0844 871 3012

26-30 September 2017 New Victoria Theatre, Woking www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre 0844 871 7645

3-7 October 2017 Grand Opera House, Belfast
www.roh.org.uk 028 9024 1919

10-14 October 2017 Glasgow King’s Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre 0844 871 7648

17-21 October 2017 Wolverhampton Grand
www.grandtheatre.co.uk 01902 429 212

24-28 October 2017 Milton Keynes Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre 0844 871 7652

31 October – 4 November 2017 Orchard Theatre, Dartford
www.orchardtheatre.co.uk 01322 220000