Harvey Greenfield is Running Late
A play written by, and starring, Paul Richards.
A groundbreaking one-man piece of comedic theatre that asks a simple question: Is it possible to please everyone, all of the time? And at what cost to your family and health? In this fast and frenetic comedy, award-winning writer/performer Paul Richards explores our need to please, and why it's sometimes healthy to, every now and then, just sit in a shed and play Subbuteo by yourself, eating biscuits and listen to Meat Loaf.
The show ran at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 to critical acclaim. A run in the heart of London’s West End followed in early 2020, with the show also being performed at the Brighton Fringe (two runs), Reading Fringe, Barnstaple Theatrefest and Swindon Fringe the summer before. A full UK tour was scheduled for 2020 but we all know what happened to theatre/the arts/live performances in that year…
The show is currently being developed into a feature film, directed by Jonnie Howard for Screenlooker Productions, with shooting commencing in August 2021. Paul is touring the original show in October 2021, alongside developing the follow-up, Harvey Greenfield is Getting Married (see below).
THE SCOTSMAN (4 STAR REVIEW, EDINBURGH FRINGE, AUGUST 2019)
Has the show started? Is everyone here? When’s the door going to be shut? These are the questions asked by a frantic man on stage who may or may not be in character. Written and performed by Paul Richards, it follows the journey of an idiosyncratic 38-year-old man, Harvey Greenfield, as he becomes overwhelmed by other people’s demands on his time. It is, we are told, based on a true story – apart from one bit. Like an alternative Ferris Bueller, rather than having a day off, Harvey is simply trying to get to work for a meeting, but keeps getting phone calls from his mum, girlfriend, the guy at the garage, the lawyer of a cyclist taking him to court, someone saying something about a funeral... A self-described “strangely ugly Hugh Grant type”, his naivety and inability to cope in the modern world is simultaneously charming and horrifying. He gives money to every weird charity that asks, gets into the kind of scrapes Just William would be proud of, and has a relationship with a competent and beautiful girlfriend that shouldn’t work, but somehow does. The escalating web of chaos is skilfully scripted in the vein of a classic film comedy, while detours into Harvey’s childhood chart his development from a painfully nervous teenager to someone who is almost able to function. This is a transformation of Hollywood proportions but, as the pressure builds and Harvey’s mind starts to melt, the piece highlights the more serious consequences of taking on too much to a point where it impacts on your mental health. “Which bit’s not true?” an audience member asks after the show’s finished, as two others wipe away tears. “The ending, obviously,” says Paul, or Harvey – which presumably means everything else is, and it’s sadly all too recognisable.
FRINGE REVIEW (BRIGHTON FRINGE, MAY 2021)
The writing is top quality...an honest tale, very well written and performed. The dark comedy inherent in a 30 something trying to navigate an increasingly pressurised world, resonates and echoes aspects of our own lives. There are laugh out loud moments, clever jokes, sharp observations, all told by a likeable, interesting and talented performer.
SUE MARCHANT - BBC RADIO CAMBRIDGESHIRE (ON TWITTER, NOVEMBER 2019)
Such an amazing performance. A must experience show.
THE SWINDONIAN (SWINDON FRINGE REVIEW, APRIL 2019)
Harvey Greenfield is Running Late. Literally running. Almost without rest. And late for everything. He’s a man who can’t say no and he’s in a number of terrible fixes as a result. After last years’ “Short Plays for Marvellous People” Paul Richards returned to the Swindon Fringe with his new one-man show. The very first public performance, no less. And, just like last year, Richards seems to have comic energy to burn. He makes Lee Evans seems narcoleptic by comparison. And he uses up every last iota of that energy in a show that features him running on the spot for the best part of 50 minutes interrupted only by the occasional spot of table football. Throughout he interacts with a soundtrack of music and voice-overs as the people in his life pull him in every direction at once. The result is mostly laugh-out-loud, but punctuated with sorrow. Harvey Greenfield is a man who tries to please everyone and, as a result, pleases no-one. Least of all himself. It can only end badly. But that doesn’t stop it hurting when it does. Ingeniously written and powerfully performed.
Harvey Greenfield is Getting Married
A play written by, and starring, Paul Richards.
Paul Richards returns as Harvey; always running, always late and now about to get married. Facing a million obstacles, will our flustered hero make it to the church on time… or even alive? The follow-up to Paul’s 2019 hit play, Harvey Greenfield is Running Late (which has been developed into a feature movie), this chaotic hour is a heartwarming, gloriously sweaty tale of a man just trying to do the right thing against all odds.
The Little Git
A play written by Paul Richards, starring Vikki Gavin and Paul Richards.
A fast, unexpectedly heart-warming play written by Paul Richards. Having toured the world for 10 years, searching for that elusive record contract, singer Vikki and drummer Paul suddenly find themselves pushing forty, in the backing band for an 11-year-old singing sensation. With the kid, aka Little Git, far more successful than they'll ever be, questions are being asked. How did it come to this and why weren't they taking centre stage themselves instead of this... child? A lively comedy about accepting the brutal reality that there's always somebody younger and far more talented than you.
A chaotic comedy show written by and starring Paul Richards and Rachel Creeger.
From the creators of cult hit, The Complete History of Pop Music in an Hour. As the most disorganised, shambolic choir ever prepare for their debut gig, can they learn the songs in time? A singalong play like no other, please do join in... they need all the help they can get! Written and performed by Paul Richards ('The escalating web of chaos is skilfully scripted in the vein of a classic film comedy' **** (Scotsman)) and Rachel Creeger ('Tight writing, sharp performance and a beautifully zany imagination' (BrightonSource.co.uk)) with very special guests.
My Function Band Hell
A late night, quite shouty, storytelling show written and performed by Paul Richards.
Paul Richards literally can't stop drumming; he's performed all over the world, from huge gigs in China to grotty working men's clubs, posh corporate gigs to the whole of the UK toilet circuit whilst eating more Ginsters slices than could be considered healthy. But is all that driving, alone, late at night, drum kit in the boot, odd smoke coming from the engine, so much time to think, good for your health? A warm storytelling comedy show about why it's often quite degrading to play drums at someone else's wedding.