Shaffer’s 2-4-1 theatre deal

A scene from Shaffer's play The Private Ear
A scene from Shaffer's play The Private Ear

The first major revival in half a century of two one-act works by British playwright Sir Peter Shaffer debut at MK Theatre this week, writes Sammy Jones.

The Private Ear and The Public Eye were first staged back in 1962, with Maggie Smith and Kenneth Williams treading the West End stage.

The intimate plays show similarities – both are short, bittersweet comedies, and give the viewer a window into the turbulent changing attitudes to love in the 1960s through a combination of comedy, pathos and drama.

A musky London bedsit is the focus of The Private Ear, where reclusive Bob, usually spent poring over his record collection, calls in a favour from his confident pal Ted: He wants to treat his date, shy Doreen, to a slap up meal.

The Public Eye meanwhile, is set in a swanky accountancy office, where uptight Charles is confronted by Julian, an eccentric private detective hired by Charles to investigate his young wife, who he suspects is cheating on him.

The casting includes former Heartbeat star Steven Blakely and ex-Corrie cobble-stepper Rupert Hill.

The Private Ear and The Public Eye begins on Monday, October 7 with opportunities to view through to Saturday, October 12.

> The Glenn Miller Orchestra, under the guidance of leader Ray McVay, come to play for you on Saturday evening, and the on Sunday, The Bootleg Sixties will encapsulate the era with a hit-packed two hour show awash with classic fashion, newsreel and iconic video footage.

‘The best band of their kind in the world,’ said one in-the-know the name of Elton John.

He is such a fan, that he has played with them four times – at his own wedding, at the nuptials of Elvis Costello and Diane Krall (at Elt’s house), at a bash for Elton’s jewellers and opening a New Years Eve bash for him at London’s 02.

Last year they also played a Crimbo party at Buck House!

Nice work if you can get it.

Tickets for all shows are available through the box office on 0844 871 7652.