Withnail And I | Bruce Robinson adapting his classic film to the stage in 2024

Withnail And I
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Bruce Robinson’s classic comedy drama Withnail And I is being adapted to the stage, and tickets have now gone on sale.

Released in 1987, writer-director Bruce Robinson’s Withnail And I is quite rightly regarded as one of the finest British films ever made, and its influence is still keenly felt today. Not surprising given Robinson’s brilliant, quotable script and two powerhouse central performances by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann as the titular characters (‘I’ is called Marwood in the published screenplay). It’s made even more remarkable by the fact that Grant was a teetotaler prior to playing the permanently sozzled Withnail.

For those who’ve never had the pleasure, the film chronicles the squalid lives of two unemployed actors at the tail end of the 1960s who coerce Withnail’s Uncle Monty, wonderfully portrayed by Richard Griffiths, into letting them stay at his country cottage for a week. The problem? They find that fending for themselves is even more difficult than they imagined.

The film is set to hit the stage in May next year – cue everybody visiting the box office claiming they’ve “come to the theatre by mistake!”

Robinson is adapting his own script, which will be directed by Sean Foley. It will run at Birmingham’s Repertory Theatre from the 3rd to the 24th May. Casting details will be announced in due course.

A celebratory book, Withnail and I: From Cult To Classic by Toby Benjamin, has recently been published as well, featuring an introduction by Bruce Robinson. You can order a copy here. You can find out more information about the play and purchase tickets from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

British Comedy Guide

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