Ray Cooney

Last updated

Ray Cooney
BornRaymond George Alfred Cooney
(1932-05-30) 30 May 1932 (age 88)
London, England
Occupation
  • playwright
  • actor
  • director
Notable works Run for Your Wife
SpouseLinda Cooney (m. 1962)

Raymond George Alfred Cooney, OBE (born 30 May 1932) is an English playwright, actor, and director. His biggest success, Run for Your Wife (1983), ran for nine years in London's West End and is its longest-running comedy. [1] He has had 17 of his plays performed there. [2]

Contents

Career

Cooney began to act in 1946, appearing in many of the Whitehall farces of Brian Rix throughout the 1950s and 1960s. It was during this time that he co-wrote his first play, One For The Pot. With Tony Hilton, he co-wrote the screenplay for the British comedy film What a Carve Up! (1961), which features Sid James and Kenneth Connor.

In 1968 and 1969, Cooney adapted Richard Gordon's Doctor novels for BBC radio, as series starring Richard Briers. He also took parts in them.

Cooney has also appeared on TV and in several films, including a film adaptation of his successful theatrical farce Not Now, Darling (1973), which he co-wrote with John Chapman.

In 1983, Cooney created the Theatre of Comedy Company and became its artistic director. During his tenure the company produced over twenty plays such as Pygmalion (starring Peter O'Toole and John Thaw), Loot and Run For Your Wife . He co-wrote a farce with his son Michael, Tom, Dick and Harry (1993). Cooney produced and directed the film Run For Your Wife (2012), based on his own play. [3] The film however was not a success: it was savaged by critics and has been referred to as one of the worst films of all time.

Cooney's farces combine a traditional British bawdiness with structural complication, as characters leap to assumptions, are forced to pretend to be things that they are not, and often talk at cross-purposes. He is greatly admired in France where he is known as "Le Feydeau Anglais", ("The English Feydeau"), in reference to the French farceur Georges Feydeau. Many of his plays have been first produced, or revived, at the Théâtre de la Michodière in Paris.

In January 1975, Cooney was the subject of This Is Your Life when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at London's Savoy Hotel. In 2005, Cooney was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to drama. [4]

Personal life

Cooney married Linda Dixon in 1962.[ citation needed ] One of their two sons, Michael, is a screenwriter. [5]

Bibliography

Filmography

Screenwriter

Related Research Articles

Georges Feydeau French writer

Georges-Léon-Jules-Marie Feydeau was a French playwright of the era known as the Belle Époque. He is remembered for his farces, written between 1886 and 1914.

A bedroom farce or sex farce is a type of light comedy, which centres on the sexual pairings and recombinations of characters as they move through improbable plots and slamming doors. The bedroom farce is perhaps the most common form of farce.

Brian Rix

Brian Norman Roger Rix, Baron Rix, was a British actor-manager, who produced a record-breaking sequence of long-running farces on the London stage, including Dry Rot, Simple Spymen and One for the Pot. His one-night TV shows made him the joint-highest paid star on the BBC. He often worked with his wife Elspet Gray and sister Sheila Mercier, who became the matriarch in Emmerdale Farm.

Robin Mark Askwith is an English film actor, best known for his role as Timmy Lea in the Confessions sex comedies series. His debut film role was as the impudent schoolboy, Keating, in the film if.... (1968) which he later reprised in Britannia Hospital (1982).

Patrick Cargill

Patrick Cargill was an English actor remembered for his lead role in the British television sitcom Father, Dear Father.

Vicki Michelle British actress

Vicki Michelle, is an English actress and film producer. She is best known for her role as Yvette Carte-Blanche in the BBC television comedy series 'Allo 'Allo! and as a recurring character Patricia Foster in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale.

Anders Göran Gillinger, is a Swedish actor and former model. He has a broad background in classical theatre, television and film.

Jackie Pallo

Jackie "Mr TV" Pallo was an English professional wrestler, a star of British televised wrestling in its 1960s and 1970s heyday, when the sport had a regular 40-minute slot before the Saturday afternoon football results on ITV.

<i>A Flea in Her Ear</i>

A Flea in Her Ear is a play by Georges Feydeau written in 1907, at the height of the Belle Époque. The author called it a vaudeville, but in Anglophone countries, where it is the most popular of Feydeau's plays, it is usually described as a farce.

Run for Your Wife is a 1983 comedy play by Ray Cooney.

<i>Not Now, Darling</i> (film)

Not Now, Darling is a 1973 British comedy film adapted from the 1967 play of the same title by John Chapman and Ray Cooney. The plot is a farce centered on a shop in central London that sells fur coats. A loosely related sequel Not Now, Comrade was released in 1976.

<i>Not Now, Comrade</i>

Not Now, Comrade is a 1976 British comedy film directed by Ray Cooney. It was a follow-up to the similarly named 1973 farce Not Now, Darling. It featured a number of British comedy actors including Leslie Phillips, Windsor Davies, Don Estelle and Ian Lavender. The film was shot at Elstree studios, and was intended as the second in a series of ‘Not Now’ movies, with 'Not Now, Prime Minister' pencilled in as a follow-up, but box office returns for the film, unlike those of its predecessor, were disappointing. Cooney also appears as the MI5 agent Mr Laver. The film was the first and only time that Harold Snoad directed a feature film.

<i>Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary?</i>

Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary? is a 1953 British comedy film directed by Maurice Elvey. The film was based on Vivian Tidmarsh's 1944 West End hit play by the same name.

Whitehall farce

The Whitehall farces were a series of five long-running comic stage plays at the Whitehall Theatre in London, presented by the actor-manager Brian Rix, in the 1950s and 1960s. They were in the low comedy tradition of British farce, following the Aldwych farces, which played at the Aldwych Theatre between 1924 and 1933.

Not Now, Darling is a 1967 farce written by English playwrights John Chapman and Ray Cooney, first staged at the Richmond Theatre, in Richmond, England prior to a long West End run starring Donald Sinden and Bernard Cribbins, with Jill Melford, Mary Kenton, Brian Wilde, Carmel McSharry and Ann Sidney.

John Roy Chapman was a British actor, playwright and screenwriter, known for his collaborations with Ray Cooney

Run for Your Wife may refer to:

<i>Run for Your Wife</i> (2012 film) 2012 film by Ray Cooney

Run for Your Wife is a UK-made 2012 comedy film, based on the 1983 theatre farce Run for Your Wife, written by Ray Cooney, who along with John Luton also directed the film. Upon release the film was savaged by critics and has been referred to as one of the worst films of all time, after it grossed just £602 in its opening weekend at the British box office to its £900,000 budget. It was released on 14 February 2013.

<i>La Dame de chez Maxim</i> (play)

La Dame de chez Maxim is a three-act farce by Georges Feydeau, first produced in Paris in 1899. It depicts the complications ensuing when a respectable citizen becomes mixed up with a Moulin Rouge dancer after drinking too much champagne at Maxim's restaurant.

Drayton Entertainment is an award-winning, not-for-profit professional theatre company based in Southwestern Ontario operating seven venues across the province: the original Drayton Festival Theatre in Drayton, Huron Country Playhouse and Playhouse II in Grand Bend, King's Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene, Schoolhouse Theatre in St. Jacobs, St. Jacobs Country Playhouse in Waterloo, and Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge, formerly Dunfield Theatre Cambridge in Cambridge.

References

  1. "Artist: Ray Cooney". Art & Culture. 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  2. "In the Farce Lane". UK Writer. Writers' Guild of Great Britain. Spring 2005. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  3. "Run For Your Wife". Run For Your Wife. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  4. "Dramatist Cooney becomes an OBE". BBC News. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  5. Grigware, Don (19 November 2015). "BWW Interview: Internationally Renown British Actor/ Playwright RAY COONEY Talks About son Michael Cooney's CASH ON DELIVERY at the El Portal". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  6. "Reviews - archive".