Three's Company Blog

Boris: World King – the reviews come in!

20150721-MF2_4249Our latest show has just opened in Edinburgh and we’ve had a great few performances so far.

Boris: World King will run at the Pleasance Courtyard, 1:45pm every day until 31 August.

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We’ll use this blog post to collate all the press reviews we get. So check back. Fingers crossed…


The Times (Dominic Maxwell)
**** “Written with equal parts flourish and focus… it nails both Johnson’s blustery charm and the steely way he uses it
Full review (Paywall)

London Evening Standard (Veronica Lee)
**** “David Benson is uncannily accurate… A very amusing show, with a bite in its tail, that surely deserves a London transfer.
Full review

Broadway Baby (Rory Mackenzie)
***** “A giddy, silly and savagely satirical delight. Impeccable performances match impeccable writing in this unique take on one of Britain’s most unique figures.
Full review

The Times (Keiza Dugdale)
The sharpest show I’ve seen on this year’s Fringe. The writing is beautiful and the delivery so exacting.
Full article (paywall)

The Guardian (Mark Lawson)
A comic but accurate account of the rise and pratfalls of a politican whose career feels uniquely suited to slapstick dramatisation.
Full article

The Stage
**** “David Benson does a superb impersonation of Johnson, nailing his wild, stuttering mannerisms, and Crawshaw’s script cleverly allows BJ to hang himself with his own desperate need to please. A smart and unsettling piece.
Full review

British Theatre Guide (Keith McKenna)
**** “Benson as Boris combines a genial selfish charm with just the hint of a cruel, conniving intelligence below the surface… This fine entertainment deserves to be seen by everyone.
Full review

Frowning Magazine (US)
Nothing short of hysterical. A bold political satire… truly the king of the Pleasance Courtyard!
Full review

The Student Newspaper
**** “Very amusing and highly recommended
Full review

The Independent
Benson is highly amusing as Boris… comically portraying a persona before effectively skewering it.
Full review

Edinburgh Evening News
**** “A Buster Keaton-inspired piece of slapstick.
Full review


Gyles Brandreth
A sensational five-star performance… David Benson & Alice McCarthy are quite brilliant in Tom Crawshaw’s sharp & hilarious bio-drama about Boris Johnson” (via Twitter and Twitter)

Kezia Dugdale (Scottish Labour Leader) (in The Times)
The sharpest show I’ve seen on this year’s Fringe. The writing is beautiful and the delivery so exacting.
Full article (paywall)

Iain Dale (LBC Radio)
A rip-roaring hour… if you can get tickets, this is a show not to miss.
Full post

David Benson’s performance as Boris is teriffic, as is Alice McCarthy… Every man and his dog is fighting to say how great this play is, so they don’t really need my help repeating my endorsements.
Full blogpost
A brilliantly funny show, filled with latin, Boris bikes, wiff-waff and tomfoolery. This level of clowning and mimicry takes skill in order for it not to look too staged.
Full blogpost
**** “There is much to keep the audience entertained… extremely polished performances.
Full blogpost

Twitter reaction

**** “Hugely frolicsome! What a character to embody and done so accurately.

**** “A satirical masterclass.

Brilliant! Haven’t had a good laugh like that in a long time. Gaeat performances all round!

In Edinburgh? Go see #borisworldking the hilarious dissection of Boris Johnson. A must see!

Brilliant satire on @BorisJohnson quest for world dominance

A MUST SEE show at the Edinburgh festival.

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Calling all directors…

We’re looking for an Assistant Director to join the team for Boris: World King!

If you’re a director early in your career, with a love of comedy and the Edinburgh Fringe, this is the job for you.

Performance dates are:

  • Sat 4th July: London preview
  • 20th-26th July: Buxton Fringe
  • 5th-31st August Edinburgh Fringe

London rehearsals will take place for just under two weeks, Monday to Saturday daytimes, between Wednesday 24th June and Saturday 4th July. There’ll be further rehearsals the week the show is in Buxton, and you may be asked to lead some catch-up rehearsals between the various runs of the show.

Fire a copy of your CV over to, with a cover letter, and we’ll get in touch.

Give us a shout with any questions, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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Announcing Boris: World King

We can finally confirm this year’s summer project – a sparkling new satire about Britain’s favourite politician Boris Johnson

Boris: World King sees the Mayor of London (and MP for Uxbridge, and Telegraph columnist, and Cabinet member) make the most of his summer recess by presenting a play about his life at the Edinburgh Fringe – all in a bid to win the Fosters Comedy Award.

It’s our latest collaboration between award-winning writer Tom Crawshaw and award-winning director Yaz Al-Shaater, following 5-star Edinburgh hits Not The Messiah, Auditorium and Later Showers.

Cast to be announced.

You can catch the show at Underground Venues (Buxton Fringe) and the Pleasance Courtyard (Edinburgh Fringe) this July and August. There will also be a London preview to be announced.

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And Now For Something Completely Similar…

This January, our hit show Not The Messiah is playing at Theatre503 – one of London’s top new writing theatres – followed by a quick tour to Derby and Belfast. It is a nice coincidence that this comes just after the announcement that the remaining living members of Monty Python are reuniting. Here, Tom takes a look at what we can expect from that…

I’ve spent my life watching the Pythons, writing about the Pythons and (both deliberately and, all too often accidentally) writing like the Pythons. But, like many of their newer fans, I feel incredibly distant from these historical comedy inspirations, who finished touring their live shows before I was born, and have only appeared on stage together once since.

Even for those original fans who experienced the Pythons in their true, groundbreaking context, the chances of having seen them live are vanishingly slim. Their stage tour had limited dates, and these all occurred before the greater fame brought by their film hits.

For the vast majority then, the Pythons are purely a screen phenomenon: a bunch of eternally young men from the 70s endlessly high-kicking, fish-slapping, coconut-clopping and Messiah-declaring their way across YouTube and DVD box sets for our delight. In this context, the prospect of a live appearance (by all of them who are not currently pushing up the daisies) seems ludicrously exciting.

Continue reading

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The future of situation comedy is Missing Something


The time is finally here. After receiving crowd-funding through Kickstarter back in April and filming in September, our first ever sitcom, in collaboration with BrotherBrother, has now launched online.

Missing Something is an energy-packed web-based sitcom about lost twenty-something Rachel and her bizarre friends. Each 4-minute episode builds an increasingly complex web of plots, connections and schemes – as well as more allusions and references than you can shake a Pooh stick at.

The episodes are being released every Tuesday and Thursday from now until Christmas at Head there now to take a look!

The series is directed by Yaz and his brother Haz (their secret brother Taz is not involved). It’s written by Leila Sykes (from Smooth Faced Gentlemen and The World’s Greatest Walking Tour Of Edinburgh) and our own Tom Crawshaw. It stars many Three’s Company regulars including Fran Binefa (from The Importance Of Being Frank), Ashlea Kay (from TIOBF and TWGWTOE), Scott Wilson-Besgrove (from None Of The Above and TWGWTOE), Amr El-Bayoumi (from Auditorium) and George Telfer (from Not The Messiah).

Have a watch of the episodes now – and keep up to date with the Missing Something Facebook and Twitter. We hope you enjoy it!

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Not The Messiah January Tour

Very exciting news for our tragi-comic Python-tribute Not The Messiah, following its sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe in August.


Leading new writing theatre in London – Theatre 503 – have picked up the show and will be co-producing it for one week from 7-11 January. With a strong artistic policy and a great track record of West End transfers and key revivals, this is a great step for our latest new play.

Following this, Not The Messiah will be heading to Belfast and Derby as part of a mini UK tour. In Derby, it will play the 250 seat Guildhall Theatre while in Belfast it is part of the acclaimed Out To Lunch Festival happening around the city. It’s in Belfast on 14 January and Derby 16 January.

For those of you who weren’t able to see the show in Edinburgh (where is got five 5-star reviews!) we hope one of London, Derby and Belfast might be near enough for you to be able to come along. There might yet be more performances of this popular show, starring the wonderful George Telfer, so watch this space.

Theatre 503, London, 7-11 January

details and tickets here

Out To Lunch Festival, Belfast, 14 January

details here

Guildhall Theatre, Derby, 16 January

details and tickets here

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Introducing Joss Holden-Rea

A few months ago we announced our plan to rework Plane Of Existence – one of our early works – with a new composer. We’re proud to announce that, after a thorough search, we have chosen Joss Holden-Rea.

Joss is a professional composer with a wide experience of musical styles who will be turning his skills at tailoring music to any mood to this fun theatrical work. You can check out some of his previous composition work here.

Plane Of Existence if a philosophical musical comedy in which three unlikely thieves flee the country on a plane to Mexico, only to discover three people in Business Class are writing a musical about them. Tom will be writing the book and lyrics with Joss composing and Three’s Company hopes to produce the finished product very soon. Expect an all-singing, all-dancing, all-philosophising musical comedy extravaganza like none you’ve seen before. And also some bananas.

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Don’t Take It The Wrong Way – a short article on homosexuality in comedy

The following article was published on the Chortle website on 11th October 2013, in the run up to our production of Not The Messiah in London 22-26 October.

Not The Messiah - a copywright-free picture of Graham Chapman

In 1972, during an impromptu TV appearance with jazz singer George Melly, Monty Python star Graham Chapman, rather drunkenly, came out publicly as the first gay comedian in British history. This casual announcement caused no small amount of outrage – homosexuality had only been decriminalised three years previously and it was far from universally accepted. 41 years on, our attitudes have changed: the recent British Attitudes Survey revealed four-fifths of people now have no objection to homosexual relationships, and same sex marriage is soon to become law. But has the comedy world kept pace with this social change?

Certainly, directly homophobic jokes are no longer accepted by audiences. Where you might have had a few non-ironic, ‘come over a little queer’, innuendos in working men’s clubs in the 1970s, these are now restricted to the school playground. But homosexuality still remains to some extent a taboo and therefore a basis – if not a target – for comedy. Consider, for instance, how a comedian can get a laugh out of allusion to a homosexual act or homosexual attraction, which wouldn’t be possible with the heterosexual equivalent. Comedians can also continue to spout gay-innuendo, as long as it is done from behind the mask of a character (cf Al Murray) or irony (cf Jimmy Carr). In other words, we as a nation no longer think homosexuality is wrong but are happy to laugh at it, provided we believe the comedy’s creators share our enlightened views.

Continue reading

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Not The Messiah in London opening soon


Not The Messiah opens in London on Tuesday 22nd October and will run at the Leicester Square Theatre until the 26th. Just five chances to see it in London. Although we’re working on other dates across the country if you can’t make it there.

Here’s some news and links as we run up to the performance week:

Tom Crawshaw wrote a piece about Graham Chapman and the treatment of homosexuality in comedy for the Chortle website. You can read it here.

Tickets are selling fast at the Leicester Square box office – you can buy yours by clicking here.

– As a reward for reading the Three’s Company blog (and we hid it down here to make sure you are actually reading it) we’d like to offer you an exclusive 2for1 offer, which is available for either the 22nd or 23rd October performances. Just enter “parrot” in the ‘promotion code’ box and you’ll get two tickets for the price of one.

– See an interview with George Telfer on Waffle TV here…

Get a crash course on Monty Python from this blog post…

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Be an extra on our new sitcom!

Just a quick message to say we’re looking for extras for our new sitcom, Missing Something, for tonight and/or tomorrow.

The shoot is going fabulously well. Loads of wonderful footage. Huge thanks to everyone who helped make it happen. Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes snap taken by Dan Marsden:

Paolo Nutile working on Missing Something (photo: Dan Marsden)

Anyway, read all about our extras opportunities over on our Missing Something blog »

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