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Hilarious Tom Stoppard play on next week at Cambridge Arts Theatre

Starting on Monday is Rough Crossing, a play presented by Bill Kenwright and starring Matthew Cottle, John Partridge and Issy Van Randwyck.

This new production is one of Tom Stoppard's most brilliant plays and tells the story of two famous but desperate playwrights who are stuck on an ocean liner heading for New York.

Matthew Cottle, an experienced actor of stage and screen, plays Gal.

Rough Crossing
Rough Crossing

"It's set in the 1930s," he tells the Cambridge Independent, "and it's two playwrights who are travelling from Southampton to New York, and they've got four days to finish their play.

"They haven't written the ending and they're not very happy with the beginning, and the middle's not great, so they've got their work cut out."

There are a number of further plot twists and turns involving a young composer and the leading actress also on board.

Matthew, 52, continues: "It's got Tom Stoppard's brilliantly clever wordplay and it goes into farce as well - it mixes a few genres really.

"We also have musical comedy, a couple of songs, a bit of dancing... it's got something for everyone."

On the character he portrays, Matthew says: "Gal is one of the playwrights. Turai and Gal - Turai's the more flamboyant one. He probably does most of the work.

"Gal is slightly more cynical and is more grounded. I think they balance each other well - they're sort of Morecambe and Wise."

Rough Crossing
Rough Crossing

Matthew's previous television credits include The Windsors, Man Down, Doctors, Spooks, EastEnders and 90s flatshare sitcom, Game On.

He is probably still best known for the latter. Do people still recognise him as the rather put-upon Martin?

"They do, actually," says Matthew. "They do remember Game On because it was a very popular show, and they've repeated it quite a lot - it's still on Gold occasionally.

"It's weird when you do something quite early in your career and it's still the thing that people still remember best. But I've got great affection for it."

Rough Crossing runs at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from Monday, April 8 to Saturday, April 13.

The play starts at 7.45pm each night, with 2.30pm matinees on the Thursday and the Saturday.

Tickets: £20-£35. All ticket prices include a £3 per-ticket booking fee.

Box office: 01223 503333, or cambridgeartstheatre.com.

Cambridge Independent readers can get £25 top price tickets (Mon-Thursday performances only) by quoting INDEPENDENT25 when booking online or at the Box Office.

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