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New musical comedy Midlife Cowboy premieres at the Pleasance Theatre

Midlife Cowboy

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MIDLIFE Cowboy, a new British musical by comedian and best-selling author Tony Hawks, will receive its world premiere at the Pleasance Theatre, where it runs from Friday, September 13 to Sunday, October 6, 2019.

Directed by Tony Hawks and featuring a cast of talented actor/musicians, Midlife Cowboy is tale of heartache, love, and friendship, laced with new country, blues, romantic and comedy songs.

Midlife Cowboy follows the fortunes of the members of the Swindon Country and Western Club as they bid to end many years of hurt by finally winning first prize at the prestigious Railway Museum Gala Evening – and along the way discover the true nature of heroism.

But this is not just about country music. A marriage is in crisis, friendships are at risk, there is more than a sniff of infidelity in the air, and lives are changed when two new members to the club arrive and turn everything upside down.

Debra Stephenson stars as Jane, a country music-loving puppet-maker who is trying to save her failing marriage and revive their home-based Cowboy Club. Stephenson is one of Britain’s most talented actors and impressionists and her credits include Coronation Street, Bad Girls, Dead Ringers, The Impressions Show and most recently The Imitation Game.

Tony Hawks plays her midlife crisis suffering husband Stuart. A regular on many of BBC Radio 4’s best loved comedy programmes including Just a Minute, I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue and The Unbelievable Truth, Hawks is also one of the UK’s most successful authors having written many best-selling books including Round Ireland with a Fridge.

Duncan Wisbey (Graham) is an actor, musician and impressionist best known for Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression, Dead Ringers, Four in a Bed, The Hive and Ultimate Brain.

Georgina Field’s (Penny) multiple skills have led her to perform in numerous musicals around the UK including Godspell, Salad Days, The Phantom of the Opera and Guys & Dolls.

James Thackeray (Dan) has been seen in Doctor Who and Trainspotting: Live at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.

In the 1990’s, Tony Hawks wrote and staged a short comedy musical at the Edinburgh Festival called The Heartbreak Kid starring himself and Ben Miller. It was very successful and was selected for the prestigious Perrier Pick Of Fringe. However, as it was only a one-act play it needed re-writing to become a full-length musical and that was something he never got around to doing. Until recently!

In 2016 he staged a charity reading and sing-through of the new and extended version, now called Midlife Cowboy. It was introduced by Graham Norton and Sir Tim Rice and starred Ben Miller, Alistair McGowan, Jack Dee and Doon Mackichan and received a standing ovation at The Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. More recently, a further read-through was held in front of an invited audience at the Pleasance Theatre to tighten the plot and story still further and he is delighted to see it finally get its world premiere at the same venue.

Tickets: £16 – previews; £20 – matinees; £22.50 – matinees senior concession; £25 – evening shows. To book, call the box office on 020 7609 1800 or visit www.pleasance.co.uk/.

Times: Wednesday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2.30pm; Sunday evening at 6.30pm.