An affectionate portrait of a drinker, gambler and writer comes to Bedford

Bill Lay as Jeffrey Bernard
Bill Lay as Jeffrey Bernard

Keith Waterhouse’s lauded dramatic portrait of one of journalism’s most  notorious characters comes to Bedford next week.

Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell begins when Jeffrey awakens in the early hours to find himself locked in the Coach and Horses.

He had passed out in the gents and had not heard time being called. As he continues to add to his slate he recounts anecdotes from his own life and introduces the audience to some of the more interesting and eccentric characters he has known – and he has known a lot of them.

Jeffrey Bernard (1932-1997) was a resident of Soho, a gambler, a journalist and a drinker. During his time at the bar of the Coach and Horses and his trips to the racecourse he rubbed shoulders with many well-known contemporaries including John le Mesurier, Lester Piggott and Francis Bacon.

The play’s title is taken from the caption that appeared in the Spectator when he was incapable of writing his Low Life column for the magazine.

The play is being presented by theatre group Certain Age, with Bill Lay in the title role.

It runs at The Place from Wednesday, April 25, to Saturday, April 28. Visit theplacebedford.org.uk to book.