A star of comedy The Inbetweeners has been talking about his latest appearance - in a smash hit play in North Yorkshire that's already been a storming success in more than 30 countries.
“We’re all very excited about this piece,” says The Inbetweeners, Fresh Meat and White Gold star, who will be appearing in French comedy What’s In A Name?
Premiered in Paris in 2010 under the name Le Prènom, the original French version by Matthew Delaporte and Alexandre de La Patellière was turned into a film and subsequently translated into 22 languages, too.
It's now about to arrive at the Grand Opera House, York, in current the Adam Blanshay Productions touring show from October 8 to 12, which is where Joe comes.
“I didn’t see Birmingham Rep’s British premiere in 2017,” says Joe. “It’s kind of an under-the-radar success story, and it’s taken a long time to catch on over here, but we know it’s good because it’s tried and tested elsewhere.”
Jeremy Sams wrote and directed the Birmingham Rep production and is at the helm once more for the debut British tour. “It’s good to come to a script as an actor where you can let the script speak for itself, rather than scratching around for laughs that aren’t there,” says Joe.
That 90-minute script revolves around a particularly awkward family dinner party, re-located to a Peckham flat in Sams’s adaptation.
Father-to-be Vincent (Joe Thomas’s role) and his partner Anna are invited to dinner by his sister Elizabeth and her husband, Peter, joined by childhood friend Carl.
Dinner guest Carl, ostensibly the diplomat caught up in the maelstrom of a family argument, turns out to be the one whose revelation sets the cat among the pigeons. “They start arguing about why even their friendships aren’t working anymore,” says Joe, 35.
“You’d think a dinner party is a safe environment and actually the play doesn’t become a high-concept kitchen-sink drama that leads to the end of the world, but instead they have the self-awareness to say ‘this is just a dinner party and we’ll still be friends at the end’.
"Throughout the play it makes it funnier because they’re taking grandstanding positions, but it’s not Parliament!”
Joe Thomas stars in What’s In A Name?, Grand Opera House, York, October 8 to 12. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at atgtickets.com/york.