Run For Your Wife

 

RUN FOR YOUR WIFE! by Ray Cooney opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1983 at the same time as he formed the Theatre of Comedy there, and included in its roll of honour are such names as Richard Briers, Bernard Cribbins, James Bolam, Rodney Bewes, Ian Ogilvy, Terry Scott, Lionel Jeffries, Henry McGee, Stratford Johns, Bill Pertwee, Windsor Davies, Ralph Bates, Jack Watling, Sophie Lawrence, Una Stubbs, Aimi Macdonald, Ian Lavender, Robin Askwith and Britt Ekland. “We changed the cast every three months so we could get interesting TV names to fit it in between their TV series,” said Ray, “and it was a very happy time. We had about 20 different casts over a period of twelve years in the West End, and a lot of people came back to do it again because it was such fun.”
One of the regulars during the play’s 25-year history has been Eric Sykes who probably played Porterhouse more than anyone, and formed a Porterhouse club for fellow actors such as Alfred Marks, Lionel Jeffries and Dennis Ramsden, who played the detective sergeant over the years. It is still touring the country 25 years on! Ray himself is no stranger to the cast list. He both acted in and directed the play on Broadway, appeared in it in Florida and, more recently, ‘had such fun’ playing Bobby in a cruise ship production. “Acting for me is an indulgence,” he added.

 

Ray describes each of his 20 stage comedies as ‘the most enjoyable when it’s your ‘baby’ and you are in that stage of production’, but says that because of the length of its London run, RUN FOR YOUR WIFE! is perhaps the best known. “To me it seems to be one of my most recent plays; I can’t believe it’s 26 years since we first tried it out in Guildford. But there have been over 500 productions of it all over the world, from America and Canada to Argentina and South Korea and Iceland to Australia, while the number of performances over the years must run into the hundreds of thousands. And it’s been translated into 35 languages… Japanese, Chinese, Russian. French, German, Spanish, Italian. It would be easier to say which languages it hasn’t been performed in. “I wrote farce because I was an actor who appeared in a lot of farces and I did not realise how much I had learned,” he continued. “To write my kind of plays you need to understand what it’s like to be on stage.”

 

YVONNE ARNAUD THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Carol Hawkins

Barabara Smith - Helen Gill

John Smith - Ray Cooney

DS Troughton - Peter Blake

Stanley Gardener - Royce Mills

Reporter - Arthur Bostrom

DS Porterhouse - Bill Pertwee

Bobby Franklyn - Jimmy Thompson

Lady Visitor - Jan Goodman

SHAFTSBURY THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Carol Hawkins

Barabara Smith - Helen Gill

John Smith - James Bolam

DS Troughton - Sam Cox

Stanley Gardener - Ian Ogilvy

Reporter - Stuart Sherwin

DS Porterhouse - Stratford Johns

Bobby Franklyn - Royce Mills

CRITERION THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Jacki Piper

Barabara Smith - Anita Graham

John Smith - Derek Fowlds

DS Troughton - Sam Cox

Stanley Gardener - Royce Mills

Reporter - Paul Ratcliffe

DS Porterhouse - Alfred Marks

Bobby Franklyn - Brian Godfrey

CRITERION THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Linda Hayden

Barabara Smith - Helen Gill

John Smith - David McCallum

DS Troughton - Gareth Hunt

Stanley Gardener - Derek Griffiths

Reporter - Gregory Phillips

DS Porterhouse - Windsor Davies

Bobby Franklyn - David Masterman

ALDWYCH THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Jacqueline Clarke

Barabara Smith - Judy Graham

John Smith - Terry Scott

DS Troughton - Ron Aldridge

Stanley Gardener - Derek Griffiths

Reporter - Michael Cotterill

DS Porterhouse - Eric Sykes

Bobby Franklyn - Paul Toothill

DUCHESS THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Tricia Thorns

Barabara Smith - Carolyn Lister

John Smith - Ray Cooney

DS Troughton - Ron Aldridge

Stanley Gardener - Ian Talbot

Reporter - Michael Cotterill

DS Porterhouse - Windsor Davies

Bobby Franklyn - Brian Godfrey

WHITEHALL THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Kay Walbye

Barabara Smith - Hilary Labow

John Smith - Ray Cooney

DS Troughton - Gareth Hunt

Stanley Gardener - Henry McGee

Reporter - Doug Stender

DS Porterhouse - Dennis Ramsden

Bobby Franklyn - Gavin Reed

VIRGINIA THEATRE - BROADWAY & US TOUR

 

Mary Smith - Kay Walbye

Barabara Smith - Hilary Labow

John Smith - Ray Cooney

DS Troughton - Gareth Hunt

Stanley Gardener - Paxton Whitehead

Reporter - Doug Stender

DS Porterhouse - Dennis Ramsden

Bobby Franklyn - Gavin Reed

UK TOUR

 

Jeffrey Holland

David Callister

Sophie Lawrence

Eric Potts

Nick Wilton

Nicola Boyce

Terry O'Sullivan

SHAFTSBURY THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Carol Hawkins

Barabara Smith - Helen Gill

John Smith - Richard Briers

DS Troughton - Peter Blake

Stanley Gardener - Bernard Cribbins

Reporter - Sam Cox

DS Porterhouse - Bill Pertwee

Bobby Franklyn - Royce Mills

SHAFTSBURY THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Anna Dawson

Barabara Smith - Helen Gill

John Smith - Terry Scott

DS Troughton - Sam Cox

Stanley Gardener - Eric Sykes

Reporter - Stuart Sherwin

DS Porterhouse - Bill Pertwee

Bobby Franklyn - Royce Mills

CRITERION THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Patricia Brake

Barabara Smith - Helen Gill

John Smith - Ralph Bates

DS Troughton - Ron Aldridge

Stanley Gardener - Brian Murphy

Reporter - Michael Boothe

DS Porterhouse - Lionel Jeffries

Bobby Franklyn - Graham Jones

CRITERION THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Una Stubbs

Barabara Smith - Aimi MacDonald

John Smith - Ray Cooney

DS Troughton - Gareth Hunt

Stanley Gardener - John Quayle

Reporter - John Hughes

DS Porterhouse - Dennis Ramsden

Bobby Franklyn - Royce Mills

DUCHESS THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Carol Hawkins

Barabara Smith - Lorraine Chase

John Smith - Ralph Bates

DS Troughton - Ron Aldridge

Stanley Gardener - Terry Scott

Reporter - John Hughes

DS Porterhouse - Windsor Davies

Bobby Franklyn - Barrie Gosney

WHITEHALL THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Jacqueline Clarke

Barabara Smith - Judy Graham

John Smith - Terry Scott

DS Troughton - Ron Aldridge

Stanley Gardener - Leslie Lawton

Reporter - Michael Cotterill

DS Porterhouse - Eric Sykes

Bobby Franklyn - Paul Toothill

WHITEHALL THEATRE

 

Mary Smith - Carol Hawkins

Barabara Smith - Heather Alexander

John Smith - Jeffrey Holland

DS Troughton - Ken Farrington

Stanley Gardener - Paul Shane

Reporter - Michael Boothe

DS Porterhouse - Windsor Davies

Bobby Franklyn - Brian Godfrey

UK TOUR

 

Mary Smith - Jan Hunt

Barabara Smith - Maya Woolfe

John Smith - Rodney Bewes

DS Troughton - Anthony Verner

Stanley Gardener - Barry Killerby

Reporter - Paul Barker

DS Porterhouse - Christopher Scoular

Bobby Franklyn - Graham James

UK TOUR

 

Eric Sykes

Robin Askwith

Britt Ekland

Ian Lavender

Ron Aldridge

Kate O'Sullivan

Brian Godfrey

© 2014 Ray Cooney -  created by Tedwoods