“Fab acting. Fab writing. Fab message”

“Really fantastic. Superb acting”

“Great show. Amusing yet poignant”

“Really great. Should be seen”

“Brilliant performance”


Brighton Fringe Festival
Sweet @ The Yellow Book,
3A York Place, Brighton,

Wednesday 29th &
Thursday 30th May
at 17:30


First there was Laurel and Hardy, then Fred and Ginger and Marks and Spencer and now meet …Archy and Mehitabel.

Who you ask? Why Archy of course! A free verse poet in a former life and unfortunately now re-incarnated as a cockroach (“I’m a brunette and stand over six feet, without any shoes on”) and his friend and sometimes muse Mehitabel the alley cat (“I was Cleopatra once”). And all this half a century before Shirley MacLaine and Hollywood discovered their past lives.

In the 1920’s and 30’s writer and humorist Don Marquis introduced Archy and Mehitabel and a host of other insect lowlifes to the world. Their adventures were syndicated throughout America from a column in the New York Daily Sun and the cult of Archy was born.

Through the exasperated voice of Archy, trapped in the body of a cockroach (“This is the punishment meted because I have written free verse”) Don Marquis created a perfect alter ego to record his brilliant witty satirical take on humans and their endless follies – often funny and sometimes piercingly, painfully astute. And alongside Archy Marquis created the perfect foil in the hilarious comic creation Mehitabel – ever optimistic, self deluded, and disaster prone (“What on earth have I done to deserve all these kittens?”). A more delicious and unlikely double act it would be hard to imagine. Not so much lady and the tramp as the slut and the bug.

Apart from a gift for satire worthy at times of Voltaire or Jonathan Swift what elevates Archy and Mehitabel to the status of timeless comic classic is Don Marquis’ impeccable ear for language and in particular New York street slang. The poems reek of the street and the frantic crazy rhythm of the Jazz Age. And yet despite the occasional period reference they still sound fresh and contemporary to our modern ear. It’s not like humans have got any smarter since Archy first started sharing his pithy observations with his adoring public.

And now a personal note from Archy himself who states that he is delighted to be represented on stage by noted British thespian Patrick Kealey who himself explains that as a keen advocate of method acting he suffered an infestation of house moths while rehearsing the show. But enough about him already.

Mehitabel, however, has let it be known that she personally would have preferred to have been portrayed by a suitably charismatic screen legend such as Theda Bara or Pola Negri.

It should also be pointed out that absolutely no animals were harmed during the creation of this major epic drama.

…and also appearing later in the year:

Buxton Fringe Festival 8-10th July

Dundee Fringe 19/20th September