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Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw return to Nottingham Theatre Royal in John Godber's April In Paris

Classic comedy April In Paris comes to the Theatre Nottingham, next month with Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw as the long-married couple in the capital of romance.

John Godber’s comedy will be performed on June 18 and 19, with social distancing measures in place.

It is the story of Al and Bet, married for 26 years and in a rut. Their conversations are running dry and life has taken its toll. There’s little to look forward to, apart from a possible Abba tribute show in Wakefield and the odd trip to the pub.

April In Paris (47632012)
April In Paris (47632012)

But Bet has dreams. She longs to walk with the Pharaohs in Egypt, sunbathe on golden beaches and climb Alpine mountains, all fuelled by her love of magazine competitions with holidays as prizes.

Finally, her luck changes and she wins a night away for two to Paris in April, via a luxury trip on P&O Ferries out of Hull.

“I have been a huge fan of John Godber’s work for the past 30 years since I first saw Bouncers, so to be given a chance to perform this specially adapted version of one of John’s finest creations is a dream come true,” said Pasquale, who plays Al.

Joe Pasquale will star in April In Paris. (47632014)
Joe Pasquale will star in April In Paris. (47632014)

“John has written a masterclass of comedy and pathos, with such a sense of realism, reflecting the way life is in a long relationship.”

The show has been a long time coming for Pasquale and Earnshaw, who were touring with Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em when theatres were closed in March 2020.

“This is probably the longest rehearsed ‘two hander’ play in history,” said Pasquale.

“We have been working on it since last September, in the hope of theatres reopening in the autumn of last year, but, sadly, we kept getting pushed back and finding doors shutting on us just as we were ready to perform it.

“So we continued to rehearse and hone it, ready for the green light and I’m very excited to say that we will be the first touring theatre show out of the gate.

“What a remarkable achievement from all the team to make this happen. I can’t wait for audiences to come out again, remember what live entertainment means to all of us and how much we need it .... I promise we won’t forget our lines!”

Comedian Joe Pasquale has delighted audiences with his live stand-up tours for more than 30 years.

On television, he was crowned King Of The Jungle in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here in 2004.

Prior to playing Betty, Frank’s long-suffering wife in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, Sarah Earnshaw most recently starred as Connie in The Nightingales and Jennifer Lore in the UK Tour of Nativity ­— The Musical.

The idea for April In Paris came about when director and producer Richard Lewis, an old friend of John Godber’s, was looking for something that would really resonate with audiences and could be safely toured ­— and realised his double BAFTA-winning pal’s work was perfect.

He said: “The production has been specially designed and rehearsed to cater for a socially distanced audience and the performance will represent a milestone in the theatre industry’s rejuvenation.

“I hope audiences will support a bold initiative to get theatre back where it belongs ­— in front of an audience ­— while supporting their local theatre and having a good laugh while they are doing it.”

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