A play inspired by Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s “coughing major” is set to transfer to the West End. It takes up the story of army major Charles Ingram, who was convicted of deception in 2003 after winning the top prize on Chris Tarrant‘s flagship game show. Mr. Ingram had been helped by his wife Diana, and friend Tecwen Whittock, who had given him clues by coughing from their seats in the audience. Both accomplices were also convicted in court. Quiz, which has won plaudits in a run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, will open at the Noel Coward Theatre from April.
Playwright James Graham, whose plays Labour Of Love and Ink are also currently showing at West End theatres, said: “Being given the chance to share Quiz with more people–and with the opportunity to develop and push our gameshow-meets-theatre concept even further–is beyond exciting for all of us.
“I would never have imagined years ago I’d get a chance to put any of my new plays into the West End.”
The play is directed by Daniel Evans.
In the real-life court trial, Mr. Whittock claimed he had suffered from a persistent cough for his whole life. He said it was a “coincidence” that his cough had coincided with the right answers being spoken. But a fellow contestant said he had noticed a pattern of coughing. All three of the plotters were given suspended prison sentences. Mr. Ingram repeatedly sought to appeal his convictions. His sentence was upheld, but some of his and his wife’s fines and legal costs were reduced or quashed. Mr. Ingram has subsequently written two novels and is active on Twitter, where he has expressed vociferous opposition to Brexit.
This post originally appeared on iNews on December 1, 2017, and has been republished with permission.
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.