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Frankie Howerd’s life story portrayed with humour and truth in this new play starring Simon Cartwright and Mark Farrelly (Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope)
“Remember the last time someone kissed you and meant it?”
Frankie Howerd was one of Britain’s most loved comedians for half a century. But he had a secret. And the secret’s name was Dennis.
Frankie Howerd was in truth a radical, whose courage and innovation as a performer have too often been obscured by cosy nostalgia. The first stand-up to dispense with conventional punchlines and slick patter, instead he crafted stumbling, surreal streams of insecurity, based on his sense of inadequacy, disappointment and sheer unsuitability to the very job of being a comedian. In his refusal to ‘do’ comedy like everyone else had done, he predated fellow non-conformists such as The Goons, Python and Eddie Izzard.
Howerd’s End is a two-hander exploring both the development of Frankie’s comedy, and the clandestine union which made it all possible: his extraordinary forty-year relationship with his lover, friend and anchor Dennis Heymer, whose existence was strictly guarded from the public in Frankie’s lifetime. More than simply a tribute show about a comedian who outlasted them all, Howerd’s End is also a piercingly honest love story about a relationship that tried to defy every odd – including death.
This brand new play by Mark Farrelly (Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope) affords a glorious opportunity to encounter Frankie in full-flight stand up mode.
Packed with laughter, but unafraid of truth, Howerd’s End portrays two humans’ journey through closeness, love, grief, and all the other things that make life worth living. Come and say farewell to a legend … and learn the art of letting go.
Simon Cartwright as Frankie Howerd
Mark Farrelly as Dennis Heymer
Directed by Joe Harmston
Click here to book both shows and save £2
Duration : Approximately 80 minutes with no interval.
Recommended age : 14+ (strong language and references some may find distressing)
I knew Dennis, and I wrote for Frankie – and this play is brilliant