Dudley thespians to stage world premiere of cult TV show The Office

Dudley News: L/R Dave Hutchins (David Brent), Claire Hetherington (Dawn), Simon Hawkins (Tim). Buy photo: 161323J Buy this photo » L/R Dave Hutchins (David Brent), Claire Hetherington (Dawn), Simon Hawkins (Tim). Buy photo: 161323J

DUDLEY Little Theatre is gearing up to present the world stage premiere of cult TV show The Office, after gaining permission from Ricky Gervais himself.

The society is the first amateur dramatics company ever to be given approval to stage the popular British comedy which led to Gervais and Martin Freeman becoming household names.

Brierley Hill based director Prue Warne managed to get the go-ahead to run the show - after repeatedly pestering the show’s star and writer Gervais and co-writer Stephen Merchant.

She said: “We’d done Fawlty Towers and that was successful so I wrote to them and said please, please, please can we do The Office?

“It was not out for amateur performances anywhere whatsoever so this went on for weeks and suddenly they came back and replied - ‘you can do it’. So we got it finalised in writing and it is in fact a world premiere in Netherton.

“I feel really over the moon but that’s been drowned by weeks and months of transferring what is very strictly a TV script to the stage.

“Rehearsals, however, are going like a bomb.”

The society will bring to life three episodes from series one of The Office at Netherton Arts Centre, Northfield Road, Netherton, from Wednesday May 8 to Saturday May 11, with performances starting at 7.30pm.

Seasoned amateur star Dave Hutchins, aged 40, from Brierley Hill, will be playing pompous office boss David Brent; James Silvers will be starring as pedantic jobsworth paper salesman Gareth Keenan; while Simon Hawkins and Claire Hetherington star as sales representative Tim Canterbury and receptionist Dawn respectively.

A host of other DLT regulars will also appear as characters from accounts, sales and the warehouse.

Prue said: “The cast seems to be just right.

“Dave Hutchins is really a brilliant actor; he does just become whoever the character is he’s portraying.

He’s almost more like Ricky Gervais than Ricky Gervais - he really has got it.”

The show, which promises to be a laugh-out-loud affair, follows the society’s successful production of Fawlty Towers staged in May 2011 which was also directed and adapted for the stage by Prue.

Tickets for the world premiere of The Office cost £7 (£6 concessions) and there’s a ten per cent discount on sales of ten or more t ickets.

They are available from Chris on 01384 872583, 07582 318017: Dudley Council Plus, Castle Hill, Dudley, on 01384 812812, or Specs Maniacs in Halesowen. Alternatively visit website www.dudleylittletheatre.org

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