Michael Palin has advised audiences wishing to attend a St Albans production of his play, "to avoid sitting in the front few rows".

St Albans theatrical group The Company of Ten will be bringing an adaptation of The Weekend to Holywell Hill's Abbey Theatre next month.

The show will run from September 15 to September 23, and will feature a real dog.


When Michael Palin heard that The Company of Ten were staging a production of his play, the actor, comedian and writer sent the group a message.

According to the BBC, he wrote: "I am delighted that the Abbey Theatre has chosen to bring The Weekend to St Albans, featuring a real dog as Pippa.

Herts Advertiser: Michael Palin has advised viewers not to sit in the first few rows.Michael Palin has advised viewers not to sit in the first few rows.

"My advice is to avoid sitting in the front few rows.

"There are, I'm told, humans in many of the other parts and I'm sure they'll do St Albans proud in a play described by my mother as 'a masterpiece'."

The play's director, Sally Davies, added: "As we continue to rebuild local theatre following a difficult few years, having the support of a national treasure like Michael Palin as we put on his play is so important.


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"The animals, and humans, involved in the production are working hard, and I've no doubt we'll do him proud."

The Weekend is Palin's first stage play, and follows a Suffolk man who hears rumours of a planned development affecting his village.

The play premiered in the West End in 1994 and was adapted for radio in 2017, featuring on the BBC's Radio 4.

The Abbey Theatre's website describes the production: "World-weary Stephen Febble is definitely not looking forward to a visit from his daughter and her family.

"As the weekend progresses, he manages to offend and alienate everyone, from his wife to his best friend, with his deliberately argumentative ill-humour.

"Michael Palin’s first stage play takes a sharply observed and darkly humorous look at family relationships, friendship and failure."

Tickets can be purchased via the Abbey Theatre website and cost £14, or £12 for concessions.