Curtain Call

November 29th – December 16th, White Bear Theatre

The White Bear kicks off its Christmas season with a darkly comic play about lost love, alcoholism and stage fright.

Yes, they’re all out there; the theatre community royalty. The finest collection of personality disorders this side of a Freudian nightmare.

Stanley, once a respected classical actor, is now relegated to appearing in murder mysteries on seaside piers. Found by a former lover who persuades him to appear as Gloucester in her production of King Lear, he is catapulted into the company of his estranged TV star friend who is playing the king himself.

Simon Bradbury’s hilarious and touching play is about the masks we wear and the dangers of wearing them all the time – how refusing to look at our real reflection, warts and all, can cost us dearly when it comes to identifying love and what is truly meaningful. And how having the courage to accepting friendship, both platonic and romantic, is essential to all of us. Using the backstage world and the eccentrics that inhabit it, the play fuses broad comedy with genuine pathos to render a story that is both funny and heart-wrenching. This three hander includes Bradbury in the cast and also features Heide Yates, a Canadian singer/actress making her UK debut, and Aran Bell, a veteran of theatre and stage.

Simon Bradbury is a playwright and actor. A UK national, he has recently returned from the US and Canada where he made his living in the classical theatre. Most recently he has been seen as a physical actor in Cirque du Soleil. His play Chaplin inaugurated the new mandate at the Shaw Festival, Canada to present plays by living playwrights. The play opened in 2002 at the Shaw Courthouse Theatre to critical acclaim and subsequently toured the US. Simon recently won the 2017 Liverpool Hope Playwriting award, the UK’s second largest playwriting competition for his comedy The Last Act of Love of JB Moliere. The competition, sponsored by Hope University, comes with a cash prize and a possible production at Liverpool Royal Court Theatre in 2018.

Director Brian Croucher is a director/actor and a 45 year veteran of TV, film and theatre. He has appeared on stage at the Royal National Theatre, RSC, Royal Court and the West End. Having played many villains in film and TV, he is probably best known for his role as Jim Hills on Eastenders.