Photos by Westudio
Dinner for One
This hilarious play, based on the classic TV sketch, reveals the astonishing, untold story of James and Miss Sophie’s anniversary celebrations.
Every year James helps Miss Sophie celebrate her birthday by taking on the roles of her companions around the table.
But what happens one year when the usual guests can’t come? Will James cancel the soirée? Or will he reinvent himself and the dinner guests in order to keep Miss Sophie happy?
This fresh and original, hour-long version of the popular Christmas and New Year tradition that is Dinner for One, maintains all the well known comedy moments we love, but also, takes us on a helter skelter journey with James, around the table, around Europe and nearly, around the bend!
The original vs the new
Sue Flack saw the original Dinner for One sketch with Freddie Frinton and May Warden, one Christmas whilst visiting relatives in Germany and she immediately knew that it could be the perfect show for Escapade Theatre.
The 1963 sketch has the 90 year old Miss Sophie hosting an annual dinner for the friends she has outlived as her equally aged manservant tries to keep up the bravado, whilst toasting each and every course and guest.
Escapade wanted to transform the sketch into a full length theatre piece and take it from a music hall museum piece into a live, vibrant and full length comedy show. Over a period of 3 months, in 2002, the company set about developing the story.
The first thing that struck them was that Mr. Pommeroy, Mr. Winterbottom and Sir Toby were all very similar and perhaps not very interesting enough to bring alive. They asked themselves the question “What happens if we change the guests? If they become real characters whom James reincarnates for Miss Sophie like never before?”
With that premise Escapade created a series of excruciatingly funny characters to accompany Miss Sophie on her birthday. Monsieur LeBoeuff, the French chef, Signori Tagliatelli, the Italian opera singer, Don Juan de la Muerte, the Spanish bullfighter and the old stalwart Admiral Von Schneider all contribute to make an hilarious new comedy.
Escapade has succeeded in creating their own “original” Dinner for One, full of magical interpretation, skillful physicality, witty dialogue and awe inspiring mime, whilst at the same time keeping true to faith with the favourite classic comedy moments like the ever present tiger-skin rug, the classic toasts with the crucial exchange “The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie? -The same procedure as every year, James! “ and the ever increasing difficulty James has in pouring the drinks.
The result: an overwhelmingly entertaining evening had by all, including the tiger skin rug!
Watch the trailer
What the critics say
A fantastic comedy! We’ve rarely witnessed such great acting talent around these parts!
I’m reminded of the great Peter Sellers. Don’t miss it!
SALIR SALIR MADRID
Marvellous, strange, curious, tender, evocative and hilariously funny. The actors are superb!
Brilliant tones of comedy….an overdose of laughter.
In the press