Bruce Robinson

Headed for the canon: Withnail and I, at the Birmingham Rep, reviewed

After nearly 40 years, Withnail has arrived on stage. Sean Foley directs Bruce Robinson’s adaptation, which starts with a live rock-band thumping out a few 1960s hits. The musicians take cameo roles as maids and coppers. The show needs a larger cast especially for the tea-room scene – ‘We want the finest wines available to humanity’ – which calls for a big crowd of crumbling old crocks. Never mind. The production would have thrilled diehard fans. As for newcomers, they would probably have been better to start with the film. This production of Withnail would have thrilled diehard fans – newcomers less so Robert Sheehan delivers a glitzy, karaoke version

‘I couldn’t afford loo roll’: Bruce Robinson on being skint, Zeffirelli’s advances and Withnail’s return

Bruce Robinson is ramming a huge log into the grate of his ancient fireplace in mud-clogged Herefordshire. He’s 77 and the film for which he is famous, Withnail and I, is about to open as a play. Isn’t it curious it hasn’t happened before, given that the comedy is about two thirsty, unemployed actors and is a sort of love-hate letter to the theatre? ‘I was living on 30 bob a week – I could either afford fish and chips or ten gold leaf’ ‘I wasn’t fond of the idea of staging it,’ says Robinson, who wrote and directed the 1987 film based on his own boozy life as an