It seems that reality television is taking over, as more and more shows, such as Geordie Shore, Made In Chelsea and The Valleys, continue to get made. Then there is The Only Way Is Essex, which seems to have inspired the upcoming West End production Barking in Essex, starring the likes of Keeley Hawes, Sheila Hancock and Lee Evans.
Keeley Hawes said of the production, “I’m thrilled to be stepping into the incredibly high heels of my character Chrissie. I’m looking forward to working with Sheila, Lee, Montserrat and Karl, and performing at the Wyndham’s, which is such a beautiful theatre. I now even have a great excuse to watch Towie. All in the name of research, obviously.”
Sheila Hancock then added, I wanted to do this play mainly because I think/hope it is outrageously funny. My part is an awful woman, with no redeeming features. I’ll enjoy that," while Lee Evans said, "London offers the best theatre in the world. It’s great to be coming back to the West End in a comedy about a ludicrously dysfunctional family getting themselves into all manner of trouble — let’s face it, that’s probably why it’s got me in it."
He added, “The fun is seeing how they get themselves out of the chaos they create. It’s sort of Ab Fab meets The Sopranos. I’m really looking forward to working with Sheila, Keeley, Karl and Montse — we’re going to have such a laugh in rehearsals."
Barking in Essex sees Keeley Hawes play the wife of Lee Evans character, who is the hapless criminal Darnley. Meanwhile, Sheila Hancock will play the family matriarch Emmie, who presides over the family. Barking in Essex premiere's at Wyndham’s on September 16, following previews from September 6.