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The Independent Culture
Every actor has a skeleton in the closet... a (no) profit-share production of Salome, music by David Bowie, bodystocking by Wincyette or a misbegotten expressionist re-working of Dr Faustus for two actors, a shower curtain and a light bulb. (Sadly, I saw both.) Simon Burke has two Best Actor awards and a string of long-running hit shows under his belt, but he, too, knows the taste of a turkey. Not only did he survive the notorious Nagasaki musical, Out of the Blue, aka Out of the West End, but he also played the eponymous hero of the less-than-successful da Vinci musical Leonardo which asked us to believe that our hero was a raging heterosexual.

The opposite is true of his role in Paul Rudnick's Broadway smash-hit comedy Jeffrey. Rudnick is best known as a screenwriter (Addams Family Values), but he is also the author of the riotous film column in Premiere, the deliciously unbridled views of a supposed buyer in junior separates, Libby Gelman Waxner, whose unique take on movies is both sharp-eyed and addictively funny. It is partly these virtues which persuaded Simon Burke to take the co-starring role of Steve, Jeffrey's would-be lover. "It's so refreshing to find such intelligent, engaging, excellent writing. It reminds me of a 1940s romantic comedy."

In Rudnick's earlier Broadway play I Hate Hamlet, Nicol Williamson famously departed from the script and attacked his co-star onstage with his sword. This time the co-star looks somewhat safer.

'Jeffrey' is at the Greenwich Theatre, SE10 (0181-858 7755)

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