SCRAM FROM MY KITCHEN (TOM, DICK AND HARRY)
Twenty four years ago, a comedy by Ray Cooney was first staged in Šabac. It was the most famous comedy of this contemporary British dramatist, actor and director, Run for Your Wife which the play’s director Aleksandar Đorđević renamed Life is Beautiful. What ensued was the production of Out of Order, once again renamed in Šabac into Crazy Night in Hotel Yugoslavia. Both these comedies had many performances, audience loved them, they received awards, won at the Comedy Days Festival in Jagodina, earned Ljubiša Barović the Golden Turkey Award… Casts of these Cooney’s comedies also included Aneta Tomašević, Petar Lazić, Aleksandra Gavanski, Ivan Tomašević, Dušan Stevanović... The dramaturge was Dragana Bošković who, following the director’s vision, adapted these plays to Serbian context, transferred their plots to our country and made their characters Serbian.
From Šabac, Cooney’s comedic gift spread to other Serbian theatres like a wildfire. Ever since, there has hardly been any theatre in Serbia or the region, which has not staged Cooney, often in their Serbian versions originating from Šabac. Cooney is still frequently and gladly staged in Serbia. Many other comedies of his are still performed today (Run from your Brother (One for the Pot). in Kragujevac, Funny Money in Šabac, Caught in the Net and Dial M for Adultery (Move over Mrs Markham) in Kruševac). The Zvezdara Theatre in Belgrade performs their version of Run for Your Wife entitled A Lover of Great Style sometimes even two times a day…
In the Šabac City Theatre, on 24 February, the young generation started their work on staging the latest comedy by Ray and Michael Cooney entitled Scram from My Kitchen (original title Tom, Dick and Harry). This hilarious comedy following the attempts of three brothers Kerwood to navigate countless obstacles for Tom, the eldest, to adopt a baby, and taking in some Kosovar refugees along the way (original British text, unbelievably topical) is directed by the young film, TV and theatre director, Andrea Ada Lazić, whose play “Sentimental Tectonics” has recently been pronounced the best at the First Staging Festival in Aleksinac. This production was her first direction in the Šabac City Theatre, where she grew up, as chance would have it.
The costume designer for this new staging of Cooney’s comedy is Selena Tomašević, while stage designer is Nikola Nikolić. As an homage to the first staging of Ray Cooney’s comedies in our theatre, the young generation is joined by some Cooney veterans - Dragana Bošković (dramaturge) and Petar Pjer Rajković (Stage movement)..
The main roles of the three Kerwood brother in this hilarious vaudeville are played by Vladimir Milojević, Strahinja Barović and Miloš Vojnović, while Mrs Linda Kerwood is played by Sonja Milojević, who was pronounced the best actress at the Aleksinac theatre festival, for her role of Diana in Sentimental Tectonics.
The grandfather and granddaughter from Kosovo, who arrived from Calais to London, only to emigrate further, are played by Ljubiša Barović and Kristina Pajkić. Cooney’s regular character of police constable is played by Ivan Tomašević. Boris, the criminal who sells passports to the Kosovars is played by Petar Lazić. Aneta Tomašević is a social worker, Mrs Potter, who sets the wheels of the plot moving, as she arrives to assess Tom and Linda as potential adopters…
This first staging of the play Scram from My Kitchen (Tom, Dick and Harry) (translated by Andrea Ada Lazić) is an exhilarating vaudeville which, just like other comedies of this famous author, actor and director, does not mock anyone. Everyone and everything will be satisfied in the end. Even the law!
Providing that this premiere of the new Cooney’s play coincides with 10 years of the death of Aleksandar Đorđević, the famous film, TV and theatre director, who in the second phase of his career staged 11 plays in Šabac, and also with the moment of departure of the theatre’s ex-manager Zlatica Popović, who produced Cooney in Šabac and invited Đorđević to direct here, Dragana Bošković, who has served as dramaturge for Cooney’s plays both then and now, will make a publication about Cooney and Đorđević in Šabac, also containing statistical data concerning staging Ray Cooney’s comedies in Serbian theatres.