A stage comedy written by Monty Python legend Michael Palin is the next show to be staged by Tip Top Productions at the Forum Studio Theatre in Chester.

The Weekend will be staged at the city centre venue from April 7-9.

Michael Palin, who is best known for his acting and writing with the Monty Python team and more recently presenting travel documentaries, is also a successful author and playwright.

In 1994, he wrote The Weekend, which opened at the Strand Theatre in London’s West End and has been described as ‘a riot of comedy’ with an ever present dark side.

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The play is directed by Dan Ellis and this is the second play he has directed for Tip Top Productions, following last year’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

He has wanted to direct a production of The Weekend since stumbling across a copy of it in the school library while studying for his GCSEs in 2006 and performing extracts for his exams.

The Weekend is set in Suffolk and, faced with a family gathering, world-weary Stephen Febble does his best to be difficult. All he wanted was a quiet life but to his horror, his long suffering wife Virginia fills the house with guests for the weekend.

Not only his daughter, gormless son-in-law, precocious grand-daughter and incontinent dog arrive, but his best friend, his wife and her smooth chiropodist turn up for dinner.

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In turn exasperated and irritated, Stephen responds in his normal fashion – reaching for the whisky (in large amounts) and sarcasm (in even larger amounts).

There is a seven strong cast featuring Mike Deakin, Gwen Cowan, Steven Lancashire, Jane Nugent, Neil Mason, Si Kneale , Julia Bona and India Watts.

Many of these are Tip Top regulars but there are also some cast members new to the company including India Watts for whom this will be a first role in a play, having mainly done dancing and singing at Theatretrain.

All seats on the first night are £7 and on the Friday and Saturday the full price tickets are £11, with concessions at £9. For tickets phone the box office on 01244 341296 or book online at www.chestertheatre.co.uk.

Tip Top Productions continues its spring run with the Mike Leigh classic Abigail’s Party from April 21-30.