First play for BAFTA award-winning writer

Christine Kavanagh and Nigel Havers in Basket Case which is being performed at Chichester Festival Theatre from November 28-December 3.
Christine Kavanagh and Nigel Havers in Basket Case which is being performed at Chichester Festival Theatre from November 28-December 3.
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The BAFTA award-winning writer, Nick Fisher, is behind the contemporary comedy, Basket Case, which is being shown at Chichester Festival Theatre from November 28-December 3.

Having written for well-known programmes including New Tricks, Hustle, and Holby City, Basket Case is the first time Nick has ventured into writing for the stage. Originally designed for the TV series Manchild, actor Nigel Havers managed to convince Nick to develop it for theatre.

Nigel says: ‘Nick was my first choice to write a new play because he writes such wonderful dialogue for actors. It’s fast, funny, furious and cuts into characters like a filleting knife.

‘He’s created such a great (and awful) character for me – for all the cast, in fact. It’s a play full of laughs mixed with bittersweet moments.’

In Basket Case, dependable Miranda and her ex-husband, the smoothly charming and wholly unreliable Guy are thrown together when their faithful old family pet takes a turn for the worse.

Reunited over the dog basket, Guy and Miranda find they haven’t moved on quite as they’d imagined. When they are joined by family friend James, as well as Martin, the vet and a long-time admirer of Miranda, the scene is set for some startling home-truths.

Christine Kavanagh plays Miranda, David Cardy plays James, and Graham Seed plays Martin.

When talking about how the rehearsals went for Basket Case, Christine believe’s it was like an Olympic marathon.

She explains: ‘I’ve had to learn how to make muffins! Miranda answers the phone, talks to the dog, greets the vet and makes the muffins all within the first three pages.

‘It’s an Olympic test and on one level, exhausting. But I would rather work at this pace than be under-rehearsed or thinking, Oh my god, the muffins!”’

Being the only woman in the four character play, she believes Nick writes brilliantly for women.

Christine adds: ‘I would say that he often gives Miranda the upper hand. Interestingly enough, it’s very much a woman’s play. It’s about the fact that in the later years, you can have your cake and eat it.

‘She’s brought the kids up, survived a marriage and a divorce, and this is chapter two. She’s grabbing it with both hands.’

Tickets cost £12 to £30 from Chichester Festival Theatre on (01243) 781312 or go to cft.org.uk.