A little bit of history is being made at London’s JW3 when the Mel Brooks’ comedy, The 2,000 Year Old Man, gets its world stage premiere.
Written by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, it has been adapted for the stage by Kerry Shale and will be performed by Shale and Chris Neill.
Mel Brooks originally played The Old Man, who has lived through all of human history, and Carl Reiner was The Interviewer.
In a Yiddish accent (The Old Man hailed from the Middle East) Brooks would improvise answers to Reiner’s questions.
Perfecting their shtick at Hollywood parties, the two friends eventually recorded their first best-selling album in 1961.
The 2000 Year Old Man takes the audience on a journey through all the major earthly discoveries: fire, sex and the nectarine.
He reveals his memories of Joan of Arc (“what a cutie”), Robin Hood (“he stole from everybody and kept it”) and the Spanish Inquisition (years before Monty Python).
Each performance will feature an exact re-creation of the original timing, edited from five albums.
Shale and Neill will wear earphones to capture the flavour of the original sketches.
Kerry Shale’s stage comedies include Bar Mitzvah Boy (West End), His Girl Friday (National Theatre) and The Odd Couple (Palace, Watford).
His TV comedy work includes Red Dwarf, Life’s Too Short, The Trip, Not Going Out, Kiss Me Kate and Sorry!
Chris Neil is a writer, comedian and broadcaster. His work as comedian and after-dinner speaker has taken him to clubs and events across the UK and throughout Europe.
Chris spent several years as a comedy producer on radio and television, winning awards for his work with everyone from Graham Norton to Tyne Daly by way of Terry Wogan and Peter Cook.
He has performed as a comedian on a number of radio shows including Just a Minute, Linda Smith’s Brief History of Time Wasting, Sean Lock’s 15 Storeys High, Quote…Unquote, The Food Programme, Broadcasting House and Today.
The 2000 Year Old Man will run at the JW3, Finchley Road, North London from March 9-22.