A Hampstead Downstairs Production

In the Vale of Health: Japes

By Simon Gray

Directed by Tamara Harvey

20 March - 5 May

Archived £12/£10
'I don't mind sharing him with you. Or you with him... It would be - be - well, all in the family'



CAN’T GET TICKETS? Due to ticket demand all four In The Vale Of Health plays will be transferring to the Main Stage 28 May – 14 June. Click here to book tickets for Japes on the Main Stage

Experience four Simon Gray plays based on the same characters, in the same situation but all telling a different story with opposite conclusions…

The accidental death of their parents when Michael and Jason (Japes) were in their teens made them as close as brothers can be: the family home they inherited remains unchanged, part playground, part shrine. But their lives change forever when Michael falls in love with Anita… and so does Japes… and a passionate triangle develops.

Simon Gray’s dark comedy Japes, directed by Peter Hall, enjoyed a successful run in the West End in 2001. Watching rehearsals, the playwright realised the characters might have made different choices and arrived at a different outcome, so he set to work on Japes Too. Concerned that he had still only told one side of the story he then set down Michael. But the characters continued to haunt him so he kept writing, and Missing Dates is a further attempt to put them to rest.

Five years after Gray’s death, Hampstead Theatre is delighted to present this extraordinary cycle of his work: premieres of the three unperformed plays alongside a revival of the play that started it all off.

Simon Gray is the author of over 30 plays, including Butley, Quartermaine’s Terms, Otherwise Engaged and The Common Pursuit. His other writing includes screenplays, novels, and a hugely successful series of diaries culminating in The Smoking Diaries.

Tamara Harvey returns to Hampstead Downstairs following the sell-out hit Hello/Goodbye last year. Her numerous theatre credits include Tim Rice’s new musical From Here To Eternity (West End), Educating Rita (Meiner Chocolate Factory / UK Tour), Whipping It Up (West End) and the hit musical Tell Me On A Sunday by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black (UK Tour).

Running time is approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes including a 20 minute interval


Ham & High interview Tamara Harvey

Bridget Galton interviews In The Vale Of Health Director

In The Vale Of Health rehearsal diary: Week two

By Associate Director Laurence Cook

PART ONE: An interview with the Producer

Online Features Editor Susie Benson interviews Greg Ripley-Duggan

In The Vale Of Health rehearsal diary: Week one

By Associate Director Laurence Cook

Edward Hall speaks to The Guardian about Simon Gray plays

Hampstead Theatre to stage Gray’s hit with three unperformed plays exploring different outcomes for Japes characters By Mark Brown, arts correspondent at The Guardian Three Simon Gray play…

4 plays by Simon Gray now on sale - see 3 for £20

Hampstead Downstairs present In The Vale Of Health: Japes / Michael / Japes Too / Missing Dates Four Simon Gray plays, including 3 World Premieres, over nine weeks. By Simon Gray Directed by Ta…

Simon Gray: A career in pictures

Playwright Simon Gray had many West End hits, including Butley (1971), Otherwise Engaged (1975), Quartermaine’s Terms, (1981), Melon (1987), The Common Pursuit (first produced in 1984 and revived …

Lyn Gardner: Simon Gray Obituary

Playwright, diarist and novelist bridged the gulf between intellectual and popular drama

Cast & Crew

Artistic Team


Simon Gray


Tamara Harvey


Lucy Osborne


Joshua Carr


Matt McKenzie


Jared Zeus


Nadine Rennie CDG


Gethin Anthony


Gethin Anthony

Jamie Ballard


Jamie Ballard

Imogen Doel


Imogen Doel

Laura Rees


Laura Rees