by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg
See How They Run was initially written and produced in England during World War Two. At that time British audiences wanted fun, easy humor to counteract the difficulties they faced as a nation at war. Phillip King’s hilarious script caused riotous laughter and gained soaring popularity when it opened in London in 1944 but the play had been garnishing laughs years before it made it to the West End. Take a look at the See How They Run timeline:
1904 – Actor and Playwright Philip King is born in Yorkshire, England.
1942 – King’s one-act farce, Moon Madness is staged at Peterborough Rep. Theatre.
1944 – Moon Madness is extended into a full three-act show and renamed See How They Run. It opens at the Comedy Theatre in London and runs for almost 600 performances.
1949 – See How They Run is revised for an American Audience and opens on Broadway in New York City. Revisions include changing Clive and Penelope, originally British, to American characters and The Man, originally a Nazi prisoner of war, to a Soviet Spy.
1979 – Philip King dies at the age of 74
February 2014 – Reduced Height Theatre Company revives See How They Run with Warwick Davis and a full cast of short actors. Click here to see their video trailer.
Ticket sales begin October 6 on arts.byu.edu! If you want a chance to talk with myself (the dramaturg) and the actors during a Post-Show Discussion, come to either Thursday performance. I look forward to seeing you there!