Cell Mates (play)

Cell Mates (play)

"Cell Mates" is a play by Simon Gray. It opened at the Albery Theatre, London on 17 February 1995, starring Stephen Fry and Rik Mayall, with Gray himself directing. Fry left the production after three days. His understudy stepped in, and he was in turn replaced by Simon Ward, who had become available when a play he was performing in closed, but the production nevertheless closed on 25 March 1995.

In 2005, Gray released an autobiographical account of the production, called "Fat Chance".


The play concerns a man named George Blake, who has been convicted for spying for the Russians and sentenced to forty-two years imprisonment, and a fellow prisoner, Sean Bourke. Bourke helped Blake escape to Moscow, after which Blake did not want to let him return to his native Ireland.


In 1995, Stephen Fry famously walked out of the play near the start of its West End run, after his performance received a bad review in the "Financial Times". It was reported at the time that he suffered an attack of stage fright, but he has since disclosed that it was bipolar disorder. Fry walked out of the production for good, leaving only an apology, and provoking its early closure, and incurring the disgust of his fellow actor, Rik Mayall.Fact|date=January 2008

Fry disappeared from the public eye, travelling to Belgium, and contemplating suicide. He says that "the experience still haunts him, but the depression has now faded to embarrassment and the anger to forgiveness." [ [http://www.stephenfry.com The Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry ] ]


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