210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP 020 7379 5399

The Theatre of Comedy

The Theatre of Comedy Company was formed in 1983 by the writer Ray Cooney and, in 1986, was joined by Don Taffner and is now part of the DLT group of companies.

Read on below to find out more about the company behind the Shaftesbury Theatre.

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The Theatre of Comedy Company was formed with the ambition to present the very best of British comedy writing, both at the Shaftesbury and other West End theatres. Don Taffner, Sr. joined the Company in 1986 becoming the majority shareholder and Chairman in 1992, a position now held by his son Donald Taffner, Jr. following his death in September 2011.

Don Taffner, Sr. was a highly respected television executive both in the USA and UK and introduced the American audiences to a wide range of British television productions. Through his role in the Company he engineered synergies between the television and theatre industries producing successful productions at the Shaftesbury, other West End and regional theatres.

Past productions have included Alan Ayckbourn’s Intimate Exchanges; Peter Nichols’ Passion Play; Hay Fever and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie starring Patricia Hodge; Plunder with Griff Rhys Jones; The Royal Court Classics’ season at the Duke of York’s Theatre; Staying On; Brief Lives, starring Michael Williams; Spike by Simon Day, starring Richard Briers; the world premiere of Amy Rosenthal’s Sitting Pretty starring Maureen Lipman and Alan Plater’s Only a Matter of Time. The Company was an associate producer for the 2011 revival of Journey’s End both on tour and at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

Journey’s End
My Family - Shaftesbury Theatre
My Family
As Time Goes By

With our sister company DLT Entertainment UK, maker of the hit comedy My Family, successes include the BBC comedy As Time Goes By starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, a four-part comedy BBC drama, Love on a Branch Line and, also for the BBC, Bloomin’ Marvellous. DLT is one of the UK’s leading independent television production companies and currently has a range of drama, comedy and entertainment projects in both production and development, including a comedy based in the notorious Angel Town Estate in Brixton, a medical drama, the gaming show Go 8 Bit, a documentary exploring the origin of world dance and an adaptation of the classic Daphne Du Maurier novel Maryann.

The Company provided general management for the dance sensation Burn the Floor during its West End season in 2010 and became a co-producing partner for the 2013 Shaftesbury season and international tour. It has also general managed the dance show Brazouka created by Pamela Stephenson Connolly and Arlene Phillips at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival and Johannesburg, South Africa and in 2016/7 will be working on developing At Last: the Etta James Story for UK and worldwide touring.

Also for the BBC, the Company produced a four-part comedy drama, Love on a Branch Line, an adaptation of John Hadfield’s book by Member David Nobbs, starring Leslie Phillips, and Bloomin’ Marvellous written by Member John Godber and starring Sarah Lancashire and Clive Mantle.

The Company continues to actively develop new theatre and television projects, drawing on the strengths of its Members and the wider theatre industry. The partnership with DLT Entertainment UK, one of the UK’s significant independent television production companies and maker of the hit comedy My Family, give it a unique position that is expected to generate further Theatre of Comedy productions in the near future.

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