For three series and a film, The Inbetweeners pushed the boundaries of acceptable television comedy from within the goldfish bowl of a teenager's murky world, where all that really matters is telling your friends about your sexual exploits, real or imagined.
It won comedy awards left, right and round the back, and deservedly so. The Inbetweeners made us all worry about what the sixth form is really like these days, gave the world a glossary of new and exciting euphemisms and made international stars of the lads behind the fraught foursome of Will, Simon, Jay and Neil Sutherland, played by Blake Harrison.
But the men playing those teenagers were growing up before our eyes. Having outgrown the school-tie look, the stars of the show are popping up in a range of new projects which reflect their maturity and all of which represent a graduation from Rudge Park Comprehensive. Few roles can be further from the knockabout lunacy of The Inbetweeners than Blake Harrison's part in Rob Hayes' play, Step 9 (of 12).
The play tells the story of Keith (Harrison), apologising for his past after a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse. But memories of violence, betrayal, lies and recrimination are stirred and his reconciliation with those who raised him stretched to breaking point. Step 9 (of 12) is a dark, unforgiving and provocative work which examines society at its most unforgiving and uncomfortable. It is not a comedy.
Step 9 (of 12) starring Blake Harrison is now booking at the Trafalgar Studios from 1st to 26th May, with previews from 1st to 3rd inclusive. After the full opening (on 4th May), there will also be matinee performances at 3pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.
We have tickets available now, priced £21.50 for all seats for the previews and, from 4th May onwards, from £17.50 to £29.50.
Even though it's patently not The Inbetweeners and not a comedy, the presence of Blake Harrison is likely to push demand even higher for a venue which already enjoys an excellent reputation for premiering new work. Sales will be brisk.