After bursting onto our screens (and into the nation's affections) as Gavin Shipman in 2007, Mathew Horne initially struggled to follow the astounding success of Gavin & Stacey. Who wouldn't have. Certainly James Corden and Ruth Jones made a few suspect choices after the excitement of the comedy awards and BAFTA parties died down.
Horne and Corden were shoehorned into an ill-judged sketch show. Perhaps the right project but at the wrong time, the show was widely (and probably unfairly) panned. Mat and James were not comedians; they are both very fine actors - a notion upheld by their separate adventures treading the boards. James Corden has taken the West End and Broadway by storm with his Tony Award-winning role in One Man, Two Guvnors and Mat Horne enjoyed an acclaimed, if exhausting, turn in Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane.
'Gavlar' (sorry Mat, you'll never shake that off) returns to the stage in a 120-year-old classic comedy as he takes up the role of Lord Fancourt Babberley. The Oxford undergraduate is persuaded to masquerade as the titular aunt so that friends Charley and Jack may finally have the chaperone which permits them to propose to their respective girlfriends, Amy and Kitty.
Mat is joined by a strong cast which includes Jane Asher, Sam Kelly, Norman Pace and Steven Pacey.
Charley's Aunt runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory at the Southbank from 20th September until 10th November 2012, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. We have tickets available now, priced £32 for performances Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd September and £40 thereafter.