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 Suite.
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 01947 897587.