Plays by N. F. Simpson

Gladly Otherwise

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

N. F. Simpson led the twentieth-century British absurdist movement. Gladly Otherwise is an early sketch of his, first performed as part of the revue One to Another, which opened at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, on 15 July 1959, and transferred to the Apollo Theatre, London, on 19 August 1959.

Gladly Otherwise was revived with his play A Resounding Tinkle at the Donmar Warehouse in July 2007.

If So, Then Yes

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

I shall shortly be eighty-eight. High time to be giving serious thought to the direction my life should be taking.

In an upper-crust retirement home, Geoffrey Wythenshaw sits down to write his memoir. But he faces constant interruption from his fellow residents, attending staff and an invasion of downmarket pensioners from the Cairngorms. Some of them seek his wisdom, others only distraction.

Examining with heart and humour what it means to grow old, N. F. Simpson's If So, Then Yes premiered at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London, in September 2010, in a production by Presence Theatre.

A Resounding Tinkle

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

N. F. Simpson, whose work includes One Way Pendulum, led the twentieth century British Absurdist movement. His first play, A Resounding Tinkle, was one of the winners in the Observer play competition in 1957. The 'incessant ambush of non-sequiturs', as Kenneth Tynan described it, is a gloriously comic revelation of the absurdity of every day life.

A Resounding Tinkle was revived with the sketch Gladly Otherwise at the Donmar Warehouse in July 2007.

Born in 1919, N. F. Simpson's works include A Resounding Tinkle (1957), The Hole (1957) and One Way Pendulum (1959), all of which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, under the direction of William Gaskill. In 1964, a film of One Way Pendulum was released featuring Jonathan Miller, who in 1988 staged the play at the Old Vic Theatre. The Cresta Run (1965) and Was He Anyone? (1972) followed. A Resounding Tinkle, along with Simpson's work Gladly Otherwise, was revived in a sell-out production at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007. His last play If So, Then Yes premiered in a production by Presence Theatre at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London, in 2010. Simpson wrote extensively for the BBC and ITV, including the hit Elementary, My Dear Watson, featuring John Cleese. In 2008, the BFI screened a season devoted to his work for film and television. He is the subject of a BBC Radio 4 documentary, Reality is an Illusion Caused by Lack of N.F. Simpson. N. F. Simpson died in 2011.