The sexual revolution of the 1960s
promised unlimited promiscuity. But Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers
proves that there were some exceptions. The play has been announced as the Esk
Valley Theatre Company’s summer production.
Barney Cashman is an overweight and
overworked middle-aged man who dreams of joining the revolution before it’s too
late, despite his only previous experience of extra-marital sex being his 15
minutes with a 44-year-old prostitute in Newark, which for a New Yorker
represents a new kind of low. In a bid to break out of his mid-life crisis
Barney sets up three potential seductions. Elaine Navazio is the hard talking
temptress, Bobbi Michele the crazy pot-smoking actress and Jeanette Fisher his
best friend’s wife.
Simon, the award winning American
playwright and screenwriter, is famous for his unique combination of realism
and comedy. His focus on the frustrated and insecure silent majority produces
plausible and un-heroic characters. It is Simon’s winning comedic and warm
hearted formula that has generated hits like Barefoot in the Park and Plaza
Esk Valley, run by Mark Stratton
and Sheila Carter, transforms the Robinson Institute into a professional
theatre every year. For three weeks each summer the building in Glaisdale is
decked out with a 120-seat auditorium and plays host to professional actors
recruited through a London based audition process. The company is avidly
supported by Alan Ayckbourn and continuously produces high-quality
performances. Last year’s production of Same Time Next Year won praise for its
‘significant raising of already excellent standards’.
York local Joanne Haywood takes on
all three female roles, a far cry from her days of playing the principal boy in
the York Theatre Royal Pantomime from the 1990s to 2005. Rodney Matthew stars
as the anti-hero Barney.
To find out if Barney finally
achieves his dreams of sexual freedom contact the Box Office for tickets on