The Sunshine Boys is a hilarious comedy by Neil Simon set in the early days of television. A Vaudevillian double act is reunited for a television special on the history of comedy, despite years of bitter rivalry between them. As the producers and their families struggle to even get them in the same room, the cantankerous performers’ feud is reignited as they perform their famous comedy routine one last time. The play was turned into a popular film starring Walter Matthau and George Burns, who won an Academy Award for his performance.
Neil Simon was one of the most successful American playwrights in history, winning three Tony Awards out of 17 nominations, with a string smash hits such as Brighton Beach Memoirs, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Goodbye Girl, Jake’s Women, and The Good Doctor. In 1966, four of his plays were running on Broadway simultaneously: The Odd Couple, Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, and Barefoot in the Park.
This production was helmed by acclaimed director Thea Sharrock, whose recent West End hits include Equus with Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe, The Misanthrope with Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis, and After the Dance at the National Theatre.
The Sunshine Boys began previews on 27 April before opening on 17 May. The limited season ended on 28 July, 2012.
Danny DeVito made his West End debut alongside theatre veteran, Richard Griffiths as the feuding comedy duo Lewis and Clark. DeVito has an extensive list of film and television credits, including Taxi, The Rainmaker, Batman Returns, L.A. Confidential, and Terms of Endearment. He began his career on the stage in the original production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1971, later reprising his role in the award-winning film with Jack Nicholson. Griffiths is a theatre veteran, receiving both the Olivier and Tony Awards for his performance in The History Boys, and has appeared on the stage in Equus, The Habit of Art, and Heroes. His film credits include the Harry Potter films, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Ghandi, and Chariots of Fire.