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Steve Harley in Beckett Double Bill at Arts Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

LEGENDARY rocker Steve Harley is to star with The Fall’s producer Mike Bennett in the West End premiere of Rough for Theatre I & II, two rarely performed one-act plays by Samuel Beckett, at the Arts Theatre – from Tuesday July 10 to Sunday July 15, 2007.

Making up the Beckett double bill are two tragi-comedies that embrace suitably unlikely themes. In the first play a blind man and a cripple are brought together purely by circumstance; while in the second, a pair of bureaucrats decide the fate of an anonymous third party.

Harley is best known as front man with the legendary rock group, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel. Their 1975 single Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) reached Number 1, not only in the UK but also in many European countries and is regularly voted among the top singles in the history of the charts. And the Performing Rights Society has confirmed it as one of the most played records in British broadcasting.

During the 1980s, Harley turned his hand to acting and starred as 16th-century playwright Christopher Marlowe in the musical-drama Marlowe, which ran off-Broadway as well as in London.

However, Harley and the band continue to tour regularly, playing up to 100 concerts a years, most recently at the Glastonbury Festival (three times in total), the Isle of Wight festival (2004) and many of Europe’s major rock festivals.

Bennett’s theatre credits include playing Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Sadlers Wells); Autolicus in Winter’s Tale (Bloombsbury Theatre); Billy in Billy Liar (Harlow Playhouse); and Fe in Poles Apart (Mermaid Theatre).

As well as writing material for Frankie Howerd and The Muppets, Bennett’s numerous plays and musicals include Saftey in Numbers (Arts Theatre); Sharp Practice (Wimbledon Theatre); Seaside Romp (Blackpool Grand Theatre) and the acclaimed musical All Cloned Up (Kings Head/Bloombsbury Theatres).

As a record producer, he has 10 gold discs to his credit and has worked with the The Fall, The Specials, Gregory Issacs, Alabama 3, E.L.P and Ian Brown, for whom he co wrote Golden Gaze.

Rough for Theatre I & II will be directed by Gari Jones, who has previously worked at the National and Almeida Theatres as well as in the West End. Design is by Sara Perks, with lighting design by Linda Edwards.

Tickets: £15, £12.50 concessions.

For more information call the box office on 0870 060 1742 or visit the website.