Gasp! by Ben Elton

  • -
  • Heath Ledger Theatre

About the Play

Imagine a world in which the air we breathe is just another commodity like food and fuel. Something that can be bought and sold according to market forces. How much do you think you’d have to breathe?

This was the darkly comic premise on which Ben Elton based his first play, the hilarious and critically acclaimed satirical comedy Gasping. 

The play was first produced in 1990 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End. It starred Hugh Laurie and ran for a triumphant year and a half. Now Ben Elton has revisited his original play and re-imagined it for a new century and a new country. This major rewrite relocates the story to an Australia grown giddy on the resources boom. It’s now called Gasp!. And it’s as relevant and as hil‘air’ious as ever.

Ben Elton has written fourteen bestselling books including Popcorn and Inconceivable, some of TV’s most popular comedy series (Blackadder, The Young Ones) as well as West End plays and the hit musical We Will Rock You.

“[Elton’s] ... career spans a remarkable and successful body of work across a range of genres.” The Age

“Take a dash of writer extraordinaire, Ben Elton; add a splash of multi award-winning director, Wesley Enoch; and stir in our own Damon Lockwood, fresh from triumphs in Edinburgh and New York; and we have a cocktail that literally fizzes with laughter and energy. Gasp! is a smart comedy that will provoke thought and laughter.” Kate Cherry

 

Production images

Cast & Creatives

Cast includes: Caroline Brazier, Lucy Goleby, Damon Lockwood, Greg McNeill and Steven Rooke.

Directed by Wesley Enoch.

Designers: Lighting Designer Trent Suidgeest, Set & Costume Designer Christina Smith.

Sound Designer Tony Brumpton.

Design Associate Penny Challen.

AV Designers optikal bloc.

Directorial Associate Daniel Evans.

Reviews

The ensemble, creatively directed by Wesley Enoch, is entertaining and at times hilarious. [Ben Elton's] not afraid to be outrageous... He’s quite simply a master satirist." The Australian
"Thought provoking, hilarious, and so incredibly clever.” Naomi, patron
"Fast, frantic and funny entertainment that makes you laugh uncontrollably whilst sneaking a sucker punch of social commentary to your solar plexus – you'll finish the night short of breath either way." Perth Walkabout
"Very funny and nice to have some current local references in a big production like this. Yet another winner for Black Swan!" Peter, patron

The ensemble, creatively directed by Wesley Enoch, is entertaining and at times hilarious. [Ben Elton's] not afraid to be outrageous... He’s quite simply a master satirist." The Australian

"Thought provoking, hilarious, and so incredibly clever.” Naomi, patron

"Fast, frantic and funny entertainment that makes you laugh uncontrollably whilst sneaking a sucker punch of social commentary to your solar plexus – you'll finish the night short of breath either way." Perth Walkabout

"Very funny and nice to have some current local references in a big production like this. Yet another winner for Black Swan!" Peter, patron

Download programme