THEATRE
Vaudeville Theatre
The Strand
London, WC2R 0NH
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SHOW TIMES
Opened: 27 Oct 2016
Booking from: 03 Feb 2017
Booking until: 04 Feb 2017
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes (including an interval)
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  • u2fancat 16 reviews 0 helpful votes
    100% total rating Dead Funny, 20th December 2016
    Now, it helps - for this show - if you like old-fashioned English comedy. This is quickly impressed upon the audience by the clips from old tv shows, displayed on the stage curtain. Specifically, as we soon see, a liking for Benny Hill is a real help. Handy, then, that I always liked him.. Anyway, the title refers to a local comedy appreciation club, of whom we meet five members: a doctor (hence the skeletons and other anatomical doo-dahs scattered about), played by Rufus Jones: his neglected and broody wife - who doesn't really feel the comedy as the others do (the excellent Katherine Parkinson): their married friends (Ralf Little and Emily Berrington): and the comedy nerd of the group (Steve Pemberton), who bursts in near the start to announce (sadly) the death of Benny Hill. So I hunkered in to try and find it funny. You know what, I needn't have worried. I have often found West End comedy.. perplexing, i.e. what are they all laughing at? But this has a good, clever script, quite a dark story, and the cast is fantastic. It follows the lead of many good plays before it in completely changing our view of the characters as the plot progresses. The first half sees sparks fly during the rows between the doctor and his wife, as he plans an evening of remembrance for Benny, and they babysit for their friends (and wow, is she annoying). But just you wait for the second half, when the story flips, the characters are turned on their heads, and things go so bonkers that the best thing they can do is recreate old comedy sketches. Oh, and we get some (pretty much full-frontal) male nudity. Eh, yeah, whoopee. I'm not going to score him - but I did feel for his wife when she had to, em, touch him.. I'm not one for slapstick, so didn't really appreciate the food fight near the end as much as some others. And do beware if you're in the front two rows - that food really goes flying. I ended up with a sausage roll under my feet, someone else got sprayed with soda water. Ach, all in an evening's entertainment. Recommended - booking until 4 February.
    Sat in Stalls AZ3
    Honestly, I found the seat a bit uncomfortable - although it was upholstered, my bottom felt numb by the end of the first half. Never mind, otherwise it was fine - although close enough to the stage that you're in danger of being hit during the food fight near the end!
    AZ3 Stalls - Vaudeville Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Stalls AZ3
  • fifilou 5"7 female 75 reviews 0 helpful votes
    60% total rating Dead Funny, 28th January 2017
    I'm not sure what I thought of this show. It was funny but at the same time there where moments where the humour was a little lost on me - by this I mean the audience was laughing and I wasn't. The plot was also a little lost on me and I couldn't really tell you what it was about or where it was going. The cast did well with what they had and I did laugh hard at some points. The set was simple and didn't change throughout which I actually quite liked. I liked the show I just didn't love it.
    This seat is obviously far from the stage but you pay for what you get. I felt a little far from the action and couldn't really see the detail in either the set or the actors faces but I could hear well which is sometimes difficult sat in the higher sections of theatres. The seat itself was fairly central which was good and the view was clear all be it distant. The legroom in these sits is minimal and even I was a little cramped! The seats are comfortable but I would say if its a long show you may struggle!
    G13 Upper Circle - Vaudeville Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Upper Circle G13
  • jamesatwill 178 male 39 reviews 1 helpful vote
    40% total rating Dead Funny, 24th November 2016
    As a 29 year old I wasn't sure if I would really be the target audience for this show, but I decided to try it out as I love most of the members of the cast. The cast were absolutely brilliant throughout the whole play, and I couldn't fault them at all, so I am glad I got to see them live. However, the actual play I found very boring, and I think I only laughed out loud twice. I thought it was just due to the subject matter being related to 70's comedians (who I am fairly familiar with despite my age, and could recognise a lot of the sketches that they were parodying), but overall I just didn't find it that funny or compelling, even in the parts of the story that weren't directly related to said comedians. The people I was with (who were older and grew up watching the comedians that are mentioned throughout the play) felt the same - I actually had to convince them to stay for the second half.
    Sat in Stalls AZ9
    Brilliant seat - ample legroom, nice and roomy, offset from he one row in front so noone's head got in the way. The stage isn't too high so even though you're very close to the stage you don't have to crane your neck at all to see what's going on
    AZ9 Stalls - Vaudeville Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Stalls AZ9
  • jgblunners 6'2" male 64 reviews 1 helpful vote
    80% total rating Dead Funny, 17th January 2017
    A hilarious (and quite rude!) play, with a very touching and well-written ending. I'm relatively young, so I missed a few of the references to old comedians, so it would perhaps be even funnier for someone of the generation of the characters in the play. Fabulous performances from the whole cast - my only issue was that the pace felt very slow towards the end of the play when it became more dramatic than comedic.
    This seat is comfortable, but the legroom was only just adequate for me (I'm 6'2"). You have a full view of the stage, but the Upper Circle here is quite high so it does feel like you're looking down on the stage. The bar at the front of the Upper Circle doesn't affect the view from this seat, but having very tall people sat in front of you may block the very front of the stage.
    G13 Upper Circle - Vaudeville Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Upper Circle G13
DEAD FUNNY SEATING PLAN
The Vaudeville Theatre is a reasonably small West End venue, meaning that the majority of the seats in the Stalls give a good and unobstructed view, with a good rake, even at the back.

The Dress Circle can also give great views, however pillars in Rows F & K should be watched out for. This section does not have a safety rail, so unlike other theatres, you will not have to leave over for a good view. The Upper Circle can feel quite distant, however the best value for money seats can generally be found in this section.
Vaudeville Theatre, London interactive seating plan & seat reviews
STORY
The hilarious comedy Dead Funny by Terry Johnson returned to London’s West End for a strictly limited season at the Vaudeville Theatre. The production began previews on the 27th October 2016 and ran until 4th February 2017.

The story follows Eleanor, who wants a child. Her husband, Richard, would indulge her if it wasn’t for the fact his time is taken up running the Dead Funny Society.

When British legends of comedy Frankie Howard and Benny Hilly both fall fowl of the Reaper in the same week, the society gathers for a celebration of laughter and comedy. For Eleanor however, it is not easy to see the funny side of things, especially when your marriage is more dead than either Morecambe or Wise.

The IT Crowd and Humans star Katherine Parkinson took the role of Eleanor, while Steve Pemberton, best known for his work in The League of Gentlemen and Benidorm played the role of Brian.

Ralf Little, best known from sitcoms The Royle Family and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps played Nick, with Emily Berrington (The Inbetweeners 2, Humans) as Lisa and Rufus Jones (W1a, Hunderby) as Richard.

Terry Johnson returned to direct this genius comedy that was first performed in 1994 starring Zoe Wanamaker and David Haig, when it received the Writers Guild Award for Best West End Play, the Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play and the Time Out Drama Award. As funny as it is moving, Dead Funny was definitely not to be missed.

Terry Johnson is a much loved playwright and director who has had his work performed all across the globe, while landing him a dozen major theatre awards. His play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 1998, while Hysteria won the same award four years earlier. He has also directed a range of work of both his own and written by others, including most recently The Duck House and Oh What A Lovely War.

With an all-star cast and one of the funniest writer/directors to have ever graced the West End stage, Dead Funny was one of the most hotly talked about comedies of the year and was not to be missed. With an official opening on 3rd November 2016 and preview performances having began on 27th October 2016, Dead Funny ran for a strictly limited season at the Vaudeville Theatre until 4th February 2017.
SUITABLE FOR
Terry Johnson is one of the funniest dramatists working today. For anyone who is a fan of truly hilarious theatre, you should not miss the chance to see the master of comedy put on one of his most acclaimed plays with a brilliant all-star cast. Fans of his recent plays such as Piano/Forte and Hitchcock Blonde should make the most of the chance to see one of his classics performed.

Age Recommendations: Suitable for ages 15+
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