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Thursday, 16 August, 2001, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
Branagh to direct comedy tribute
Morecambe and Wise
Morecambe and Wise were comedy legends
Director Kenneth Branagh is to direct a new play which pays homage to Morecambe and Wise.

Called, The Play What I Wrote, it will feature original scripts from the two giants of comedy.

Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh is a respected actor and director
Branagh is said to have leapt at the chance to work with the play's creators - Sean Foley and Hamish McColl, who will also perform as the legendary comics.

It will première at Liverpool's Everyman Playhouse theatre on 27 September for a two-week run before transferring to the West End.

'Big success'

A Playhouse spokesman said: "This is a very exciting project. The Right Size have already got a great track record for producing comedy and people are queuing up to work with them.

"Having someone like Kenneth Branagh on board makes it all the more likely to be a big success."

Morecambe and Wise were two of Britain's best-loved comics and their show on BBC remains a strong draw for audiences.

Ernie Wise died in 1999, 15 years after his comedy partner Eric Morecambe died.

They were best known for their inventive comedy sketches, song and dance routines, and appearances from stars such as Shirley Bassey.

Louise Merrin, campaign manager of the Liverpool Playhouse, said the show would re-create the appearance of a guest celebrity.

"There will be a special guest star, I am not at liberty to say who that is. They will just turn up. They will be recognisable to the Merseyside audience."

'Coming together'

She added: "It is an interactive play, with plenty going on."

"Hamish and Sean will be taking part themselves, doing Morecambe and Wise.

"Anyone can enjoy it, it is a coming together of two eras of comedy, Morecambe and Wise in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and Right Size, a very funny and innovative double-act."

Branagh is one of the most respected British actors and directors, who made his name first as a stage star before moving to Hollywood.

His directed well-received films such as Henry V and Hamlet as well as appearing in movies such as Celebrity and Frankenstein.

See also:

16 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Branagh's labour premieres
22 Mar 99 | UK
Comedian Ernie Wise dies
30 Mar 99 | UK
Little Ern's final bow
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