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London’s West End run scheduled for The Last Laugh based on a Koki Mitani play
The Last Laugh
The Last Laugh, an English-language production based on a Koki Mitani play that premiered in January 2007 at the Theatre Royal Windsor and went on a well-received tour of the UK will return to London’s West End in January 2008 for what is planned to be a long run. There have been licensed Russian-language and French-language productions of Mitani plays in the past, but this is the first English-language production to be scheduled for a long run overseas.
The production is co-produced by Tony and Olivier award-winner Bill Kenwright and Japan’s Parco Co., Ltd. It is an English adaptation of the two-person Japanese play Warai no Daigaku by Mitani that premiered in 1996. Set in the time of harsh censorship during World War II it depicts the struggle between a hard-fisted censor named Sakisaka and a comedy scriptwriter named Tsubaki who has dedicated his life to comedy and writes for a comedy stage company called Warai no Daigaku (University of Laughs). This single-set comedy takes place in a police interrogation room where the two exchange accusations and denials. This popular play was made into a movie in Japan in 2005, directed by Mamoru Hoshi.
The English adaptation has been penned by British playwright Richard Harris under the title The Last Laugh. The production is directed by Bob Tomson. The setting and the characters are the same as Mitani’s Japanese play and the acting is by British actors. Prior to the London West End engagement, the play will be performed in Tokyo and Osaka in July of 2007.
+The Last Laugh
Original play: Koki Mitani
English adaptation: Richard Harris
Director: Bob Tomson
Cast: Martin Freeman, Roger Lloyd Pack
Art: Michael Pavelka
Lighting design: Mark Henderson
Presented by: Bill Kenwright in association with PARCO Co., Ltd., Tokyo
Tokyo performances
Dates: July 11-22, 2007
Venue: Parco Theatre, Tokyo
Osaka performances
Dates: July 4-5, 2007
Venue: Theatre BRAVA!
*To be performed in English with Japanese subtitles
West End (Britain) performances
Dates: January 2008 (details undecided)