RAY COONEY

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

It's appropriate to detail Cooney's life here, as Wyong Drama Group has as of 2010 produced no fewer than eleven productions by the playwright, including Move over Mrs Markham three times!

Ray Cooney began acting in 1946, and appeared in many of the Whitehall farces of Brian Rix throughout the fifties and sixties.

Whilst most of his plays have Cooney credited as sole author, he often combines his talents with others.   It was during the Whitehall era that he co-wrote his first play One For The Pot (1966).  Together with Tony Hilton, he co-wrote the screenplay for the British comedy film What a Carve Up! (1961), featuring Sid James and Kenneth Connor.In 2003, Cooney co-wrote a farce with his son Michael entitled Tom, Dick and Harry.

Cooney's farces combine a traditional British bawdiness with structural complication, as characters leap to assumptions, are forced to pretend to be things that they aren't, and often talk at cross-purposes to hilarious effect.  They are far from being high-brow literature, but they certainly provide entertainment for an audience not wanting to try too hard for its laughs.

In 1983, Cooney created the Theatre of Comedy Company and became its artistic director.  During his tenure the company produced over twenty plays such as Shaw's Pygmalion starring Peter O'Toole and John Thaw, Orton's Loot, and Cooney's own Run For Your Wife.

Cooney has also appeared on TV and in several movies, including a movie adaptation of his successful theatrical farce Not Now, Darling (1973), (which he co-wrote with John Chapman).

In 2005, Cooney was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to drama.

Biliography