the sunshine boys

(neil simon)

New translation of the 1972 classic by the American "King of Comedy" Neil Simon, performed in homes for the elderly and parish halls.

Premiere: October 2006, Comp.Marius scenery workshop, Hoboken (BE)
Premiere French version: December 2007, Théatre l'Athénée, Paris (FR)

The text

'The Sunshine Boys' (1972) is one of the 38 plays written by the American author Neil Simon (New York, 1927). In America he is the most produced playwright after Shakespeare and is called The King of Comedy.
Al Lewis and Willie Clark are two comics who are inseparable. They are more than a duo. They are two comedy stars who shine as one. Because Lewis without Clark is like a laugh without joy. In the play we see their first public performance in more than eleven years. The duo which for almost half a century was known as the Sunshine Boys, in their favourite scene: ‘The doctor will be with you in a moment’.
The script is one long procedural discussion: Rehearse – or not? Add variation – or not? Lie – or not? Pretend – or not?
In this boulevard comedy, the jokes follow one another at a rapid tempo.
Waas Gramser and Kris Van Trier have done a brand new translation, based on both Neil Simon’s play and the scenario for the 1975 film of the play.

The staging

Unlike Comp.Marius’ location and open-air projects, 'The Sunshine Boys' is a production that can be staged very simply. The scene shifts back and forth between Willie Clark’s flat, the television studio and the green room, using just a few props and a rudimentary set made of paper.
The production was made and performed in the Comp.Marius scenery workshop (a stage 2m. deep and 11m. wide) and can be performed anywhere and everywhere: in parish halls, libraries, museums, schools, function rooms, garages, and arts and cultural centres.
Following 'Kleine Ondervraging' and 'Happy Days' (in association with ‘t Barre Land), 'The Sunshine Boys' is the third in the ‘small enterprise’ series.
The play can be performed in Dutch or French.


Translation and adaptation: Waas Gramser, Kris Van Trier
Translation French version: Monique Nagielkopf
Actors: Waas Gramser, Kris Van Trier, Herwig Ilegems, Kyoko Scholiers / Katrin Lohmann
Costumes: Thijsje Strypens
Sets/technical: Koen Schetske