The Birds and The Bees – UK Tour & Casting Announcement
With Spring just around the corner, John Stalker for BIRDS&BEES LTD announces a UK tour of hilarious comedy The Birds and the Bees, Starring Helen Lederer and Michael Starke which will open at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on 10 May 2023.
On Sarah’s East Anglian farm, the honeybees are dropping like flies – just like her love life. She hasn’t slept with anyone since her husband bolted years ago. Her daughter’s marriage is going bust just like her turkey farm. Neighbour Earl is fighting a losing battle with his sugar beet yield and his ‘no strings’ relationships. Can bio-student Ben perk up the pollinators and give the turkeys a helping hand? Perhaps all they need is some local mead and the annual Turkey Day’s Dance to help them discover that the best way out of a crisis is to commit to those closest to you. Just don’t get stung!
“Sweet as honey” The Times
“A razor sharp, steamy and sexually charged new comedy” What’s On Stage
The smash-hit Canadian comedy written by Mark Crawford has been reimagined for a UK audience, relocating the play from modern-day Canada to Norfolk with additional material by James McDermott . Following a short critically acclaimed UK premiere in 2022, it will now visit Guildford, Southend, Malvern, Norwich, Richmond, Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Swansea, Cheltenham, Barnstaple, Blackpool, Birmingham, Bromley and Darlington with additional dates to be announced.
Helen Lederer is best known for her role as the dippy ‘Catriona’ in ‘Absolutely Fabulous’. Helen was part of a group of early 1980’s comedians, including Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, the late Rik Mayall and Ben Elton who made their names at London’s Comedy Store and continues to perform her on stand up to this day.
Her vast appearances on TV include ‘The Young Ones’, ‘French and Saunders’, ‘Happy Families’, ‘One Foot in the Grave’, ‘Bottom’, ‘Love Soup’ and ‘Miss Marple’ among many more. A comedy writer with an extensive portfolio, Helen is a regular panellist on radio on shows such as ‘The News Quiz’, ‘Just a Minute’, ‘Quote…Unquote’, ‘A Good Read’, ‘Open Book’ and ‘Woman’s Hour’ as well as a prolific columnist. Theatre work includes ‘Educating Rita’, and Alan Bleasdale’s ‘Having a Ball’. She has been in ‘The Vagina Monologues’, ‘Calendar Girls’, and ‘The Killing of Sister George’, in London’s West End.
Michael Starke remains universally known and loved for creating the role of Thomas ‘Sinbad’ Sweeney in Channel 4’s Brookside, a loveable rogue role he was to play for sixteen years. Michael’s countless further TV appearances include ITV’s ‘The Royal’ and ‘Coronation Street’ and on the BBC ‘Stig of the Dump’, ‘Casualty’, ‘Benidorm’, ‘Holby City’, ‘Moving On’ and ‘The Responder‘. He also appeared in ‘The Virtues’ on Channel 4 and ‘Tin Star ‘ on Sky Atlantic.
Michael has also become well known as a leading actor in musical and plays, both in the West End and in theatres across the country. His theatre credits include White Christmas, Waitress, Sister Act, Hairspray, The Rocky Horror Show, Bouncers, The Play What I Wrote and Hamlet.
Michael’s films credits include: The 51st State, Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit, No Surrender and Stephen.
Helen Lederer said: ‘I am so looking forward to getting out on tour and channelling my middle aged ‘karma’ on stage with the fabulous Michael Starke. The Birds and the Bees is not only very funny, it is about ‘awakenings’ – It’s been worth the wait’
Michael Starke said: ‘The Birds and the Bees is a Valentine to nature in all its glory! I’m delighted to be part of this magnificent company and to be touring with the fantastic Helen Lederer and friends old and new’
The Birds and the Bees is a New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Norwich Theatre and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds co-production presented by John Stalker for BIRDS&BEES LTD. It is written by Mark Crawford with additional material by James McDermott and directed by Peter Rowe. Set & Costume Designer is by Dawn Allsopp with Lighting Design from Richard G Jones. The Casting Director is Debbie O’Brien. Further casting to be announced.
Producer John Stalker said: “The Birds and the Bees is one of the funniest plays I have come across in a long time. Having seen the belly laughs from audiences during our short run in 2022 and with spring around the corner, I’m delighted to take this gem of a comedy to share with many more across the UK and I can’t imagine the play in better hands than this stellar cast”
Set in an East Anglian farm, the hilarious comedy romp tackles topics of sex, love, science, family, and the artificial insemination of turkeys. This hilarious comedy romp has a heart as big as the laughs it brings. Indeed it’s the bees’ knees!
The show contains strong language, adult themes and partial nudity – recommended for ages 14+
THE BIRDS AND THE BEES
10 – 13 May Guildford Yvonne Arnaud
15 – 20 May Southend Palace Theatre
22 – 27 May Malvern Festival Theatre
01 – 03 Jun Norwich Theatre Royal
06 – 10 Jun Richmond Theatre
13 – 17 Jun Milton Keynes Theatre
20 – 24 Jun Glasgow Theatre Royal
27 Jun – 01 Jul Swansea Grand Theatre
04 – 08 Jul Cheltenham Everyman
11 – 15 Jul Barnstaple Queens Theatre
18 – 22 Jul Blackpool Grand Theatre
25 – 29 Jul Birmingham Alexandra Theatre*
31 Jul – 05 Aug Bromley Churchill Theatre
08 – 12 Aug Darlington Hippodrome
WITH ADDITIONAL VENUES TO BE CONFIRMED
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