Mad Dogs and Englishmen at Derby Assembly Rooms''Photo by Robert Day
Mad Dogs and Englishmen at Derby Assembly Rooms''Photo by Robert Day

Derby LIVE has once again joined forces with Derbyshire writer Tim Elgood to present the double bill Mad Dogs and Englishmen as its latest production, taking place at Derby’s Guildhall Theatre from May 16-31.

After the success of Derby LIVE’s productions of The Pros, The Cons and A Screw and the hilarious two-hander Mother Came Too, Derby LIVE will produce two comedies from Tim Elgood, The Dog House and Bare Words.

The double bill will be Derby LIVE’s first in-house production since spring 2012 when it produced The Taming of the Shrew, the Derby LIVE Youth Theatre production, Children of Hercules and the co-production with New Perspectives Theatre Company, The Honeyman.

It’s a dog’s life in the Mayday Dog Rescue Centre. It is certainly not a ‘Home’ from home. But that suits Paddy just fine. He was never keen on his home. So he took steps and is now a Mayday long term resident. His biggest problem is avoiding being offered a new home. Paddy can think of nothing worse than being ‘rescued’. He’s happy being in The Dog House. The Dog House is a poignantly moving and heartily humorous ‘dog’s eye’ view of homelessness, heartbreak and humans. In Bare Words, a writer is on the verge of creating a truly great one act play. Just a few minor obstacles stand between him and greatness. The director. The actors. The audience. His mother. And . . . the words. Welcome to the heaven and hell of writing.

Bare Words is the truthful and hilarious portrayal of a young writer’s tortuous face to face combat with his own creativity. The odds are stacked heavily against him. It is barely a fair contest.

Director Pete Meakin said: “Derby LIVE is dedicated to presenting and producing excellent art, entertainment and events across all of its venues, both indoors and outside. In this way, Derby LIVE helps to keep Derby ALIVE.

“Mad Dogs and An Englishman is one more example of our commitment to our artists and, even more importantly, our audiences.”

Tim Elgood added: “Both plays were particularly poignant subject matters. The Dog House was an issue close to my heart. My wife and I have ‘owned’ three dogs during our marriage – and all three of them have been ‘Rescues’.

“All three of them now take ‘lead’ roles in this play which is duly dedicated to them. That’s possibly a literary ‘first’.

“Bare Words is the proverbial ‘emotional striptease’. Is writing fun? Only when it’s written. What inspires someone to write? That question is best left to W.B.Yeats – ‘There are things it is well not to ponder over too much – things that barewords are the best suited for’.”

“I am indebted to Derby LIVE and in particular to Pete Meakin who has now directed so many of my plays. He is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to actors. As for writers? Well. He certainly helped to inspire my writing of Bare Words. However I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not.”

Tickets are £10.25-£25.25 on 01332 255800.