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And now for something
completely different: no, not Monty Python, but the comedy
troupe sometimes regarded as their modern successors, the League
of Gentlemen, who have shed the sketches and taken on a full-length
play to become the 27th and final cast of Art.
reporter Amanda Hussain goes behind the scenes to
watch the League of Gentlemen prepare for their roles
(3,530 Kb/ 02'07")
This long running
comedy of Parisian male manners and modern art has been in the West
End since October 1996 - almost exactly as long as the League themselves,
who first came to prominence at the Edinburgh Fringe in August that
year - and will finally close in January next year.
The League are
not the first comedians to star in the show - Jack Dee, Frank
Skinner and Sean Hughes have all been in it - but they're
the first ready-made trio to take over.
And they do so
with a genuine, rather than actorly, rapport that gives the play's
tale of long-term friendships an extra resonance.
play - which revolves around the friendship of three men that is
fatally disrupted when one of them buys an expensive modern work
of art that resembles nothing so much as a blank white canvas -
remains a giddy, elegant delight.
is a little too giddy with Yvan's furious diatribe about his impending
wedding - the laughs are landing so hard that some others are being
lost in the process.
But he is a particularly
touching and vulnerable go-between, desperately sitting on the fence
in the conflict that erupts between his friends Serge (Mark Gatiss)
and Marc (Steve Pemberton), and finding - as you do - that
those who sit on fences are liable to get splinters.