IT is a show which has been described as “the perfect tonic” after being in lockdown for so long.

And now the West End hit The Play What I Wrote is heading to The Lowry next week promising mayhem, mirth and mystery guest stars.

Dennis Herdman and Thom Tuck play a struggling double act. Thom dreams of getting his first play produced on stage whereas Dennis believes that if they perform as a Morecambe and Wise tribute his partner will get his mojo back and their double act can continue.

Add into the mix Mitesh Soni as Arthur who has promised his mum that that one day he will play a harmonica solo on stage and you have the basic set-up for a wonderfully comic night out.

“There may be a few hints and the odd glimmer of Morecambe and Wise along the way,” said Dennis. “But Thom and I are not doing an impression of them. It is an homage rather than a tribute if you like.”

The show is certainly in the spirit of Morecambe and Wise, arguably one of the funniest comedy double acts of all time.


Dennis Herdman and Thom Tuck in The Play What I Wrote (Picture: Manuel Harlan)

Dennis Herdman and Thom Tuck in The Play What I Wrote (Picture: Manuel Harlan)


“One of us obsesses about doing a play about Morecambe and Wise whereas the other is convinced he’s a serious playwright,” said Dennis. “There are nods and winks to them throughout the show but we are pretty much playing ourselves.”

Mitesh’s character Arthur is a nod to Arthur Tolcher who was a regular on the Morecambe and Wise TV shows who was forever denied his moment in the spotlight.

“I get to play numerous characters throughout the show,” said Mitesh. “It is very much about the three of us.”

The show’s ‘secret ingredient’ which has delighted audiences around the country is the guest star who is invited along to appear in Thom’s play.

The identity of the star is never revealed to the audience in advance and among those who have bravely stepped on to the stage are Sir Ian McKellen, Charles Dance, Tom Hiddleston and even Sting.

“The guests are probably given two days notice to prepare for the show at most,” said Mitesh. “No matter who it is or how experienced they are when they come you can see they are utterly petrified.

“We do look after them and at the end they usually asking if they can do it again because they got such a buzz from it.

“What can be a joy though is if they do get it wrong. We can play on that and it’s a gift to the audience.”

Dennis added: “Although the show is tightly choreographed there are often moments of improvisation or there might be a little mistake now and then. They are little gifts that can be used or played with. It’s a real wild card having a special guest and they don’t always get it right. after all they have had little time to rehearse.


AWKWARD: Dennis Herdman and Thom Tuck in The Play What I Wrote (Picture: Manuel Harlan)

AWKWARD: Dennis Herdman and Thom Tuck in The Play What I Wrote (Picture: Manuel Harlan)


“But we are gentle with them. And the audience loves seeing a guest star just being themselves rather than playing a role. It creates this great dynamic in the show of them being a serious artist having these two impudent and daft people actually running the show and telling them what to do.”

Given the wide array of stars to have featured in the show over the years - The Play What I Wrote celebrated its 20th anniversary last year - Mitesh and Dennis have their own ideas on an ideal guest performer.

“For me it would have to be Whoopi Goldberg,” said Mitesh. “I’ve even tweeted her to ask if she’d do it, well if you don’t ask ...”

“Both Thom and I our ideal candidate would be Eric Cantona,” said Dennis. “I think he’d be fabulous but there are so many people out there and each one would give something splendid and different.”

“One of the joys for me is that I have to impersonate whoever it is before they come on,” said Mitesh, “so the audience can find themselves looking at two Charles Dances or two Tom Hiddlestones. I’ve already thought about what I’d wear if Whoopi comes on - that nun’s habit is mine!”

“With all the guests, everyone has a different way of handling it,” said Dennis. “There is no right approach and it’s really interesting to see how they deal with it - it’s actually very impressive.”

Clearly audiences on the tour have loved every performance and their reaction has struck a chord with the cast.

“What’s so exciting is hearing that collective ripple of laughter in the audience,” said Mitesh. “sometimes it just takes one person to set it off and suddenly they all join in.


TERRIFIC TRIO: Dennis Herdman, Mitesh Soni and Thom Tuck in The Play What I Wrote (Picture: Manuel Harlan)

TERRIFIC TRIO: Dennis Herdman, Mitesh Soni and Thom Tuck in The Play What I Wrote (Picture: Manuel Harlan)


“I have had had people coming up to me saying this is just the best tonic to the pandemic. You can watch something at home by yourself and laugh by yourself but actually when you are doing it as part of that shared experience it just feels so much better. It’s a privilege for us to be able to give that to people.”

“We’ve not had the opportunity to get together and laugh together for so long and I think with this show audiences are realising how much they’ve missed that,” said Dennis.

The Play What I Wrote, The Lowry, Monday, January 31 to Saturday, February 5. Details from