The Nap

Manhattan Theatre Club kicked off its 2018-2019 Broadway season at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre with the U.S. premiere of The Nap, written by Olivier Award nominee Richard Bean and directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan.

Richard Bean is perhaps best known for his hit West End and Broadway comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, which helped to boost the career of James Corden in the States, earning him his first Tony Award. But now, Mr. Bean (sorry, we couldn't resist!) returns to the Great White Way with a new comedy, based around a group of outlandishly appealing misfits in Sheffield, England, and the world snooker championships. For those not in the know, snooker is a revered British sport, similar to pool, and in somewhat of an intriguing, theatrical gimmick, the game is played live (albeit semi-stage, of course) in front of the eyes of the audience at each performance. Indeed, the result of the game directly affects how the play will conclude at each performance.

Kudos to Ahmed Aly Elsayed - the 2018 United States National Snooker Champion - who portrays two of our protagonist Dylan Spokes' opponents in the tournament. Not only does he get the opportunity to show off his skills with a snooker cue, but he's also a natural on the stage in his acting debut. And then we have the illustrious mob of zany characters, dreamt up by Richard Bean in this typically British, madcap comedy. From transgender ex-gangsters to con-artists posing as police officers, these over-the-top characters are brought to life by an accomplished ensemble cast of stage and screen stars, including "Transparent" standout Alexandra Billings as Waxy Bush and Broadway favorite and 2-time Tony Award nominee Johanna Day as Stella.

With Daniel Sullivan at the helm, the pace gathers momentum in later scenes and manages to maintain itself as we snowball into the finale. This is also partly thanks to the practical scenic design by Tony Award winner David Rockwell which allows for quick set changes and modestly depicts the realities of our protagonist's environment from a neglected, training room (where a meter charges 20 pence for 12 minutes of electricty) to the bright lights of the Sheffield Crucible, hosting the championship tournament.

Richard Bean's script keeps the audience on its toes with as many twists and turns as a Formula 1 racecourse and The Nap is a wonderfully light-hearted adventure into the worlds of illegal betting, professional con artists and a sport that, in direct contrast, prides itself on its history and traditions of a clean and above board reputation. 

(Photos by Joan Marcus)

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Running time: 
2hrs 20mins (including 1 intermission)
8 images
About The Nap:

The Nap is a very funny look at the world of snooker – the British version of pool. Dylan Spokes, a fast-rising young star arrives for a championship tournament only to be confronted by the authorities warning him of the repercussions of match fixing. Before he knows it, Dylan’s forced into underhanded dealings with a cast of wildly colorful characters that include his ex-convict dad, saucy mum, quick-tongued manager and a renowned gangster, to boot. It’s a fast-paced comedy thriller where, in an exciting twist, the tournament unfolds live on stage.

Richard Bean
Manhattan Theatre Club
Daniel Sullivan
Justin Townsend
Lindsay Jones
David Rockwell
Kaye Voyce
Cast list:
Alexandra Billings (as Waxy Bush), John Ellison Conlee (as Bobby Spokes), Johanna Day (as Stella), Ahmed Aly Elsayed (as Duncan Ferryman/Danny Carr), Heather Lind (as Eleanor), Max Gordon Moore (as Tony Danlino/MC/Commentator), Bhavesh Patel (as Mohammad Butt), Thomas Jay Ryan (as Danny Killeen), and Ben Schnetzer (as Dylan Spokes)
Other info:
Hair & Make-up Design by Anne Ford-Coates, Dialect Coaching by Ben Furey, and Fight Direction by Thomas Schall
The Nap Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
September 5, 2018
Opening date: 
September 27, 2018
November 11, 2018

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Manhattan Theatre Club

261 West 47th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue), New York, NY 10036
Nearest subway station:
49th Street or 50th Street stations

Latest The Nap News & Features

Richard Bean
Interview with The Nap playwright Richard Bean
November 2, 2018

Perhaps best known to Broadway audiences as the playwright of the 2012 hit Broadway production of One Man, Two Guvnors, which helped to launch the stateside career of a certain "Late Late Show" host by the name of James Corden, earning him his first Tony Award, Richard Bean has made a long-awaited return to the Great White Way this season, courtesy of the Manhattan Theatre Club. The Olivier Award nominee's new comedy The Nap began preview performances at Broadway's Samuel J.

Our The Nap Review

I’ve seen a lot of funny plays, but I don’t remember laughing as much as I did while watching the American premiere of Richard Bean’s The Nap since well, his last Broadway outing One Man, Two Guvnors. Which, despite the fact that I’m not usually a fan of slapstick British humor, I saw twice. I think I like The Nap even better – it’s sophisticated, adult humor that doesn’t rely on pratfalls or... Read more