Code of the West
16 October - 9 November
Tue - Sat 7:30pm
No performance Fri 1 November
Extra Matinee performances
Sat 2 Nov & Sat 9 Nov 4pm
Alces Productions presents the UK premiere of
Written and directed by Mark Giesser,
A comedy about the ultimate
'Code of the West is a strong play.'
'The cast may be small but leaves an impact. Each
performance is thoroughly deserving of credit, and
none more so than David Janson's portrayal of
'The chemistry felt between the various pairings is
The Public Reviews
'Writer Mark Giesser has created a gentle comedy
that works well in the space at the Tabard .. the
play is performed well, makes the audience laugh,
and is thoroughly enjoyable.'
'David Janson is outstanding, particularly his
natural flow and poise.'
West End Wilma (4 stars)
'It's a fun night of theatre with some great lines
that hold currency today.' 'Go west. Good comedy is
The American Londoner
Manipulative media, bankers behaving badly, and
plans for a royal wedding … welcome to Victorian San
In this strangely familiar world, an eccentric
Englishman rules as Norton the First, Emperor of the
United States. At least he thinks he does. And his
new dynasty needs an heir. So when a Russian
Countess and her English secretary suddenly arrive
and announce that they are ready to talk marriage,
it could be time for the wedding of the century.
That’s if the Emperor’s official imperial bank
doesn’t collapse, or his official imperial newspaper
doesn’t cause a diplomatic incident. Or he doesn’t
get sent to prison.
Based loosely around the incredible life and times
of Joshua Abraham Norton - the self-proclaimed
Emperor of the United States, a loveable fantasist
who, having had his whimsical declaration of
leadership declared in the San Francisco Bulletin,
warmly engaged a whole city who humoured to the
degree that currency was printed in his name and
accepted at the establishments he frequented.
A man whose daily street expositions (including the
need for a bridge across the bay…) were listened to
with amused interest by the local townsfolk as he
passed through ‘Frisco in his instantly recognisable
blue military uniform and feathered cap inspecting
the condition of cable cars and sidewalks.
A man San Francisco so took to its heart that on his
passing – after some 21 years ‘in post’- 30,000 took
to its streets to mourn, whose legend has come to be
immortalised in the writings of Mark Twain and
Robert Louis Stevenson and whose tale now makes a UK
A five strong ensemble lead veteran New York and
London playwright/director Mark Giesser’s latest
lightly farcical comedy which tells the tale of one
of England’s least known true eccentrics. Earlier
this year, the premiere of his Good Morning Alamo!
at the Tabard received universal critical acclaim.
Zoe Teverson and Stephen Cavanagh make a welcome
return to Alces Production’s latest presentation:
DAVID JANSON (Emperor Norton): David’s career
in British stage and television spans an extensive
range of work from his early days with the Royal
Shakespeare Company to the recent No. 1 tour of
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES. Television series include
‘ALLO ‘ALLO! (Herr Flick); KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
(Michael the postman); GET SOME IN (Ken Richardson);
DOWN TO EARTH; THE RUSS ABBOT SHOW; BRUSH STROKES;
EVER DECREASING CIRCLES and many others.
ZOË TEVERSON (Claire Greenleaf): Zoë’s
extensive stage work includes the lead role of
Charlotte Vernon in Mark Giesser’s acclaimed
premiere of GOOD MORNING, ALAMO!, and the bewitching
Gillian Holroyd in his acclaimed revival of BELL,
BOOK & CANDLE. Feature film and television
appearances include Sky Film’s SLEEPING WITH FISHES
and BBC Arena’s SUBTERRANEAN.
LUCINDA FORTH (Violet Allerton): Lucinda just
finished performing on the West End in THE
MOUSETRAP, and also toured with Stephen Daldry’s
2012 production of AN INSPECTOR CALLS. Other recent
work includes roles with the Cambridge Shakespeare
Company, and the BBC docudrama OPERATION MINCEMEAT.
WILLIAM FINDLEY (T. Preston Booth): William’s
recent stage credits include Etienne Plucheux in A
FLEA IN HER EAR at the Old Vic, and Lt. Tony
Goldsmith in ADOLF HITLER: MY PART IN HIS DOWNFALL
(Bristol Old Vic and national tour). Feature film
and television include the role of Matthew Stranger
in EASTENDERS, and the films ARCHIE and DIAGNOSIS
STEPHEN CAVANAGH (Frank Tremont): Stephen’s
2013 stage appearances include MELMOTH THE WANDERER
at the Edinburgh Festival, and the lead role of
Andreas Gerber in Mark Giesser’s GOOD MORNING,
ALAMO!; he also teamed with Mark and Zoë Teverson to
play the bewitched publisher Shep Henderson in BELL,
BOOK & CANDLE. Feature films include 2013’s DREAM ON
and 2012’s KRISH & LEE.
Creative support comes from Scenic Designer,
Christopher Hone; Costume Designer Giulia Scrimieri;
Lighting Designer Seth Rook Williams; Assistant
Director, Rishi Chatrath; and Casting Director,
The press on Good Morning, Alamo!
‘Playwright Mark Giesser’s satirical take on the
events leading to the infamous Battle of the Alamo …
lights up with moments of inspired lunacy’
Timeout 4 Stars
‘Inventive and intelligent satire … Uber-talented
cast … an exemplary piece of new writing’
‘Is Mark Giesser the Joan Littlewood of our times?
Certainly’ A Younger Theatre
The New York Times on Code of the West
‘It was Zane Grey who popularized the notion that
there was a “code of the West”. Mark R. Giesser …
has the sound instinct to ridicule it in mock
battles of wit among several characters … in Mr.
Giesser’s play the code decrees the success of
whoever can think fastest and most deviously to his
or her own advantage.’