Privates on Parade

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For the film, see Privates on Parade (film).
Privates on Parade
Privates on Parade (play).jpg
Written by Peter Nichols
Date premiered 17 February 1977
Place premiered Aldwych Theatre
London
Original language English
Subject British army ENSA group after World War II
Genre Comedy
Setting 1948, South East Asia

Privates on Parade: A Play with Songs in Two Acts is a 1977 farce by English playwright Peter Nichols (book and lyrics), with music by Denis King.

Plot[edit]

The play is set around the activities and exploits of the fictional Song and Dance Unit South East Asia (SADUSEA), a mostly gay British military concert party stationed in Singapore and Malaysia in the late 1940s during the Malayan Emergency. The drama draws upon Nichols' own experiences in the real-life Combined Services Entertainment, the postwar successor to ENSA, Entertainments National Service Association.

Productions[edit]

It was premiered at Stratford by the Royal Shakespeare Company, before receiving its London première at the Aldwych Theatre on 17 February 1977, where it ran for 208 performances. This production won the 1977 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

It was revived in 1979 at the Derby Playhouse, and again in 1982 with Bruce Payne as Flight Sergeant Kevin Cartwright and Tim Barlow. A 2001 revival directed by Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse had a cast including Roger Allam, James McAvoy, Malcolm Sinclair and Indira Varma, set design by Christopher Oram and choreography by Scarlett Mackmin.[1] Allam received the 2002 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance.

In 2012 it was staged at the Noël Coward Theatre in London as the opening production of the first season of work from the newly formed Michael Grandage Company, with Simon Russell Beale in the lead.

Film adaptation[edit]

The play was adapted by Nichols and Handmade Films for a 1982 film with John Cleese, David Bamber, and Denis Quilley directed by Michael Blakemore.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards

References[edit]

  1. ^ Loveridge, Lizzie (1 December 2001). "Privates on Parade". CurtainUp. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Nichols, Peter (1977). Privates on Parade: A Play with Songs in Two Acts (First ed.). New York: Samuel French. ISBN 0-573-11347-5. 

External links[edit]