Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Laughter_23rd_by_Daniel_GrantIn a hilarious salute to the comedy writers of television’s golden age, Black Swan State Theatre Company presents the classic Neil Simon comedy Laughter on the 23rd Floor at the Heath Ledger Theatre for a limited season from 6 September.

It’s 1953. Senator McCarthy is raising hell about ‘reds’ in show biz, and there’s “a wait list to get on the blacklist”. But on the 23rd floor of New York’s Rockefeller Plaza, the team behind The Max Prince Show are determined to keep the good times rolling. One-liners fly and zingers ricochet off the walls as Max Prince and his writers hold out against the suits who think the show’s too long – and far too smart!

Written by one of the most Oscar and Tony Award-nominated writers of all time, the characters in the play are based on Neil Simon’s real-life co-workers when he was a comedy writer on Sid Caesar’s television program Your Show of Shows.

Throughout his four-decade career, Neil Simon has drawn extensively on his own life and experience for materials for his plays. Many of his works take place in the working-class New York neighbourhoods he knew so well as a child. One of Simon’s great achievements has been the insightful representation of the social atmosphere of those times in New York.

“I get to go into a rehearsal room with some of the funniest people I know, and laugh at their outrageous portrayals of some of the funniest writers in the history of American comedy,” says Director, Kate Cherry.

“You get to go the theatre to see a side-splitting comedy set against a stylish 50s backdrop that could be inspired by Mad Men. To quote a New York producer, “What’s not to like?” Come join our madcap fun!”

Starring Peter Rowsthorn (Kath & Kim, Thank God You’re Here) as Max Prince, this clever comedy about clever comedians, is a laugh-out-loud comedy with punch lines that pack a wallop.

Director: Kate Cherry  Cast: Humphrey Bower, Stuart Halusz, Damon Lockwood, Jo Morris, Ben Mortley, Peter Rowsthorn, Igor Sas, Lara Schwerdt, James Sweeny  Set & Costume Designer: Lauren Ross  Lighting Designer: Trent Suidgeest  Sound Designer/Composer: Ben Collins

Laughter on the 23rd Floor
Heath Ledger Theatre – State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, 174 William Street, Perth

Season: 6 – 21 September 2014
Bookings: 1300 795 012 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Stuart Halusz, Peter Rowsthorn and Damon Lockwood in Laughter on the 23rd Floor – photo by Daniel Grant