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South Shields theatre group tackling British farce about man with two wives

Run For Your Wife at the Westovian Theatre. James Barton as John Smith and Rachael Walsh as Barbara Smith.
Run For Your Wife at the Westovian Theatre. James Barton as John Smith and Rachael Walsh as Barbara Smith.

A South Tyneside theatre company’s latest show is promising to tickle audience members’ funnybones.

The Westovian Theatre Society is staging British farce Run For Your Wife.

Run For Your Wife at the Westovian Theatre. From left, Gary Manson as Stanley Gardner, Frank Ditchburn as Detective Sergeant Troughton and Laura Pigford as Detective Sergeant Porterhouse

Run For Your Wife at the Westovian Theatre. From left, Gary Manson as Stanley Gardner, Frank Ditchburn as Detective Sergeant Troughton and Laura Pigford as Detective Sergeant Porterhouse

It follows a taxi driver who has managed to get away with having two wives in different areas of London because of his irregular working schedule.

The show runs at the Westovian Theatre, in Pier Parade, South Shields, from Monday, July 13 to Saturday, July 18.

Director David Cooke said: “The play was written by a chap called Ray Cooney, who is quite prolific, he’s written a lot of farces, and he actually emailed us to say he’d heard we were doing the show and to wish us well. You don’t get that very often, it was very nice of him.

“It was the longest running comedy on the West End as well, one writer said that ‘Run For Your Wife should run forever’. It’s very funny.

It was the longest running comedy on the West End as well, one writer said that ‘Run For Your Wife should run forever’. It’s very funny.

David Cooke

“It’s a bit of a period piece because it’s set in the 1980s and really reflects the values and attitudes of the time. It was quite different to how it is now and I think people would be shocked that people would act that way in those times.”

He added: “Every time the taxi driver, John Smith, opens his mouth he digs himself into a deeper hole and has to try and figure a way out of it.

“His friend Stanley tries to help him by coming up with these wild stories that John has to then try to explain.

“I must have seen the play about a dozen times now but I still find the situations and the lines very funny.

Run For Your Wife at the Westovian Theatre. From left, Laura Pigford as Detective Sergeant Porterhouse, James Barton as John Smith and Rachael Walsh as Barbara Smith.

Run For Your Wife at the Westovian Theatre. From left, Laura Pigford as Detective Sergeant Porterhouse, James Barton as John Smith and Rachael Walsh as Barbara Smith.

“I really have to take my hat off to Rachael Walsh too. She stepped in to play Barbara with just two weeks to go and has learned the part very quickly. She looks great on stage and suits the role really well.

“If you want to forget your troubles and have a jolly good laugh, this is definitely the show for you.”

The show starts at 7.30pm each night. Tickets cost from £6.50. For booking information, go to www.westovians.co.uk

Run For Your Wife at the Westovian Theatre. Back from left, Laura Pigford as Detective Sergeant Porterhouse and Frank Ditchburn as Detective Sergeant Troughton. Front from left, James Barton as John Smith, Rachael Walsh as Barbara Smith and Gary Mason as Stanley Gardner.

Run For Your Wife at the Westovian Theatre. Back from left, Laura Pigford as Detective Sergeant Porterhouse and Frank Ditchburn as Detective Sergeant Troughton. Front from left, James Barton as John Smith, Rachael Walsh as Barbara Smith and Gary Mason as Stanley Gardner.