The Nerd [Larry Shue] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. For a cast of 5 men and 2 women. Now an aspiring young architect in Terre Haute. The Nerd. Larry Shue. Author bio(s). ISBN: Full Length ” Shue delivers a neatly crafted package that uses some classic comic forms to. Brown Paper Tickets – The first and only fair trade ticketing company!.

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Actors who have taken on the title role include British comedian Rowan Atkinson.

Tansy is a smart, attractive woman, with a mutual but unconsummated attraction to Willum; she is determined to leave in order to pursue a career in television meteorology in Washington, D. Axel is a smart aleck drama critic she was once engaged, briefly, to Tansy.

The three of them are good friends.


Axel and Tansy are present when Willum, during a house party, becomes host to unexpected houseguest Rick Steadman, who had saved Willum’s life in Vietnam. Over the years, Willum and Rick had exchanged occasional letters and greeting cards, though they never met. Willum has promised Rick that he could come to him for help at any time. While Willum is hosting a dinner party for his client Warnock Waldgrave, for whom he is designing a hotelRick shows up.

His awkward manner and inappropriate behavior throw the occasion into shambles. Rick decides to move in, and Willum feels that he can’t say no, even when Rick begins to destroy his professional relationship with Mr. Eventually at his wit’s end, Willum shuue to take a chance on Axel’s plan to get rid of Rick.

What Willum and Tansy never learn is that “Rick Steadman” is not actually Rick Steadman, the brave man who risked his own life to save Willum. The intruder is actually an actor, Kemp Hall, who was persuaded by Axel to impersonate Rick Steadman in order to make Willum understand his real priorities.


Kemp, playing the nerd, drives Willum almost to comical violence as he becomes increasingly impossible to live with. Kemp has also, in the character of a man named Red Graham, been leaving phone messages for Willum, asking him to build a housing estate in Alexandria, Virginia ; Axel points out to Willum that this is very close to Washington, D.

At the climax, Willum finally finds what Tansy calls the “gumption” to order Rick out neerd his home. He declares that he will leave for Alexandria the next day and “court Tansy till she cracks. Axel is alone in the room and calls Kemp to say, “I think we did it, babe I think a hundred percent.

Kemp lrary what the real Rick Steadman is like, and Axel says, “Nice fella, probably. He just needed to have his life interfered with a little, that’s all. The play had its European premiere in In the production, the action diverged from the play in places, such ned Robert Joy as Rick squawking like a chicken when the guests at Willum’s party begin to eat deviled eggs and, later, spraying Redi-Whip into his mouth.

A series wasn’t optioned but the episode was eventually broadcast in March When Willum has a surprise birthday party from Axel and Tansy, he tells Tansy and Axel that he owes his life to Rick Steadman, who was himself badly injured when he found Willum injured in Vietnam, and Rick pulled Willum to safety.

He even made sure that Willum received medical attention before he himself did. Willum has never met the man, but has corresponded with him over the years out of gratitude.

Willum always promised that if Rick needed help of any kind, Willum would be there for him.

Tansy challenges Axel that, because she perceives him as being self-absorbed all the time, she would like to see him do an anonymous favor for someone, just one time: A villain I be, and a villain I’ll stay.


Axel has persuaded Kemp Hall to act as Rick Steadman and to behave unbearably, to force Willum to discover the “gumption” that he must find in himself.

In many ways, this play resembles the short story ” The Unrest-Cure ” by Sakiin which a young man interferes with a household in order to make the denizens appreciate what they have. Disch gave a mixed review of a performance, saying that the play “has whole half-hours that border on the moronic,” yet it “racks up more laughs, and louder, than any farce this side of Alan Ayckbourn. Shue provides some bright one-liners,” the play reminded him of “the cartoon world of Lucille Ball and Gale Gordon.

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