Play On Words

Following multiple awards, nominations, and sell-out runs around the world, the quick-witted, pun-dimensional tragi-comedy returns to the Fringe in a momentous new production this summer.

Play On Words follows Fred and Eddie in a fight against time to find their missing friend Jen – facing dried fruit, crossed words, and a theatre technician who thinks he’s seen the light. This critically acclaimed mix of Beckettian calamity and Stoppardian wit has been re-worked, re-directed and re-created starring Three’s Company’s original founders – Yaz Al-Shaater, Tom Crawshaw and Michael Grady-Hall.

Written by Tom Crawshaw, this thrilling story of friendship, knockabout farce and quick-witted punning has wowed audiences across the world since it was premiered by Three’s Company in 2006. Don’t miss this opportunity to see it performed by its original intended cast, in a unique new staging.


This multi-award winning tragi-comedy has been produced by Three’s Company all across the UK, including sell-out productions at the Buxton and Edinburgh Fringes. Play On Words is a moving tale of friendship, a knock-about farce of quick-witted punning and a surreal blend of theatre and reality – all mixed into one truly unique theatrical battle between Stoppardian wit and Beckettian Calamity.

The story follows Fred and Eddie on a linguistic journey through theatrical comedy. An ordinary day at the office is interrupted by voices from behind the walls and a theatre technician – who thinks he’s seen the light. The confusion of our hapless duo soon becomes a race against time to save their close friend Jen, facing crossed wires, theatrical tricks and dried fruit.

Play On Words premiered at Underground Venues at the Buxton Festival Fringe in July 2006, selling out all scheduled performances as well as an extra, unadvertised run. It was also a critical success receiving two nominations, an award and a rave review from the Fringe.

In 2007, Tom Crawshaw’s script won the Oxford University New Writing Festival and was awarded the Cameron Mackintosh New Writing Award. Three’s Company then chose the play for their 2007 Summer tour – to Maida Vale, Buxton, Edinburgh and Camden. Yaz Al-Shaater reprised his role as the hapless Eddie, joined by a host of new faces including fresh young actors, designers and practitioners. The production went on to sell-out in Buxton and Edinburgh, receiving rave reviews and excellent audience reactions.

The piece has since been performed in such places as Carlisle and Austin, Texas but will return to the Edinburgh Fringe this year where it will play at the Pleasance Dome from 5th-31st August. Appearing together in a full-work for the first time since 2005, Yaz Al-Shaater, Tom Crawshaw and Michael Grady-Hall will play the three male parts – and switch them round each day!

“Stoppard for the Gondry generation!”

Three Weeks

“Definitely one of the best productions on the Fringe. Don’t Miss.”

Buxton Fringe Review

“I’ve rarely been so wrong-footed… a very good play indeed”

On Stage Scotland

“The best thing to happen to puns since the double-entendre”

Fringe Blogger

Cameron Mackintosh Award for New Writing

Best Production by a Young Company (Buxton Fringe)