A string of hits, a cast of two, ‘Forever Plaid’ meets ‘I Do, I Do’. James Hindman‘s 2000 Off-Broadway musical two-hander Pete ‘n’ Keely gets its European premiere at Tristan Bates Theatre, where it now runs to 20 May 2017. The production, directed by Matthew Gould, stars David Bardsley and Katie Kerr as the titular stars in a primetime TV bust-up.
It’s 1968. America’s Swingin’ Sweethearts, Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens, are performing live on national television! The only catch? They haven’t spoken to each other in five years.
Through a non-stop parade of song hits from the 50s and 60s – highlighted by elaborately staged flashbacks – Pete and Keely relive the roller coaster ride that got them where they are today… divorced! Pete and Keely have some unfinished business and the tension bubbling beneath the show’s glitzy surface threatens to boil over at any moment in a confrontation that will definitely not be ready for prime time.
For the Q&A after yesterday’s matinee of Pete ‘n’ Keely, I was joined by Gould, Bardsley and Kerr. What attracted them to the show? How different is it for West End regulars Bardsley and Kerr to perform in such an intimate fringe venue? How much more work is a two-hander for the actors? What mishaps have there been in a show replete with prop changes and audience interaction? What do they forecast for the characters beyond the show?
Unedited podcast below. Q&A photos care of Peter Jones. Live-tweeting via @PetenKeely and producer Mitchell Reeve.
Pete ‘n’ Keely runs at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre until 20 May 2017.
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) May 6, 2017
Event photography by Peter Jones.