Preview: Tom, Dick & Harry, Duke of York's Theatre, London

Comedy runs in the family
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The Independent Culture

This play is about Tom (Joe) who wants to adopt a baby but who ends up in a complicated mess when his two brothers Dick (Stephen) and Harry (Mark) offer to help. The rest of the cast, who have either been in Eastenders or The Bill, includes Louise Jameson, Hannah Waterman and Mark Wingett.

"We have tried to avoid acting together," says Mark. "We don't want to kill it. We have been in the acting world for 25 years. If we had pitched ourselves as a family act, we wouldn't have had individual careers."

Mark is best known for his portrayal of John Lennon in the musical of the rock star's life, and from the TV series The Grand. Joe was on television in The Upper Hand, while Stephen played a part in Emmerdale.

"It helps doing a comedy," says Mark. "Being in a play can get pretty intense anyway, even if it is not thick with family, but because it is light-hearted, we are having a lot of fun. It helps that we are all in our forties now. I find that you iron out a lot of the family stuff."

Was it a coincidence that all the brothers ended up as actors? "That is the six-million-dollar question," says Mark. "We all have different theories. We came from a working-class, poor, Liverpool background. Unemployment was very high. It was not frowned upon to go into the arts. Rather than hang about the streets, we went along to the local youth theatre."

23 August to November 12 (0870 060 6623)

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