Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell: A Play by Keith Waterhouse Based on the Life and Writings of Jeffrey Bernard
Gambler, journalist, fervent alcoholic and four-times married Jeffrey Bernard writes the "Low Life" column for the Spectator magazine chronicling Soho life as well as offering a very personal philosophy on vodka, women and race-courses. From this, Keith Waterhouse has brilliantly constructed a play (the title being the euphemism used by the Spectator when Bernard is incapable of writing his column) which is set in the saloon bar of Bernard's favourite Soho pub, the Coach and Horses. Having passed out in the lavatory, Bernard awakes in the early hours of the morning to find himself alone and in the dark. Unable to contact the landlord, he is resigned to spending the rest of the night with a bottle of vodka and an endless chain of cigarettes, narrating a story of hilarious anecdotes and witty reminiscences which are enacted by two actors and two actresses who bring to life the various characters who populate Jeff 's world. Starring Peter O'Toole, later succeeded by Tom Conti then James Bolam, the play enjoyed a hugely successful run at the Apollo Theatre, London.
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