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Les Dennis to play Bill Bryson in Notes From A Small Island

Les Dennis in CROSSROADS (2003) which ended 21 years ago today


Les Dennis to play Bill Bryson in Notes From A Small Island

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Bill Bryson’s smash-hit memoir Notes From A Small Island will journey to the stage in a national UK Tour…

Starring TV favourite Les Dennis as much-loved writer Bill Bryson. The tour opens at the Richmond Theatre on Tuesday 14 January 2025.

This stage adaptation celebrates one of the nation’s most beloved books by one of the country’s most treasured authors. Notes From A Small Island spent three years in The Sunday Times bestsellers list and sold over two million copies. BBC Radio 4 listeners voted it as the book which best represents England.

“A comic pleasure! In the Watermill’s adaptation of Bryson’s tribute to this sceptred isle, nostalgia and warmth abound.” The Telegraph

From Calais to the Highlands, Bill travels the length and breadth of Britain, but how can the nation that produced Marmite and Gardeners’ Question Time hold such a special place in this American’s heart?

Notes From A Small Island, will journey starring TV favourite Les Dennis as much-loved writer Bill Bryson.

Les Dennis is one of the UK’s best-known entertainers with a career in showbusiness spanning over 50 years.  Born in Liverpool, Les came to prominence as a comedian in the 1970s after honing his act on the northern Working Men’s Club circuit and turning pro after a winning set on ATV’s talent show New Faces on ITV.

More success in TV comedies followed in the 1980s when he starred in The Russ Abbot Show and The Les Dennis Laughter Show, and formed a hugely popular double-act with comedy partner Dustin Gee, cut short by Dustin’s untimely death.

Les cemented his place as a mainstay of Saturday night television as the host of ITV’s Family Fortunes (Central Television) between 1987 and 2002.  In 2023 he returned to Saturday night TV with a fleeting but fun turn on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Les as host of Central Television’s ITV game show Family Fortunes

In recent years Les has enjoyed a thriving career as an actor, starring with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English National Opera and in numerous hit plays and musicals in the West End and on tour, as well as a regular role on Coronation Street.Other serial roles include guest star spots in Brookside, Doctors and Crossroads.

A dad of three, Les lives in Cheshire with his wife, his two youngest children, and their menagerie of pets.

Notes From A Small Island reunites the Watermill Theatre’s original creative team and is Adapted by Tim Whitnall, Directed by Paul Hart, Designed by Katie Lias with Lighting Design by Ali Hunter, Sound Design by Ed Lewis and Projection Design by George Reeve.

Strictly Come Dancing 2023, Les Dennis in a promo for the hit BBC celeb dancing series. Image: BBC/Ray Burmiston

Originally produced at The Watermill Theatre Notes From A Small Island is produced by Simon Friend Entertainment.

Confirmed theatres and dates can be found on the next page…

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