Your legacy of laughter will live on... 1935-2019
Michael Parker was active in the theatre almost all his life. At age fourteen, in England where he was born and raised, he won the title role in a regional production of Terrence Rattigan’s play, “The Winslow Boy”, for which he received a “Best Actor of the Year” award. By age seventeen he was touring with The National Shakespearean Youth Company. He graduated in the top 3% of his class from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, but describes his five years of military service as “uneventful”. There being few employment opportunities in civilian life for infantry anti-tank specialists, at age twenty-three he emigrated to Canada where he began a Temporary Office Help business, which proved so successful that he was able to retire ten years later and move to the Caribbean.
Over the succeeding years, while living in Bermuda, Grand Cayman, and The Turks and Caicos Islands, he was free again to indulge his passion for the theatre. Never far from The United States, he was able to audition for roles in many Florida Theatres.
As an English actor, working in America, Michael became acutely aware of the difficulties experienced by American theatre companies, in producing English works, in particular modern farces. Re-creating the wide range of English dialects is almost impossible, and many of the best farces simply do not “translate” well into “American”. The subject matter of the British political and social systems, or scandals of which the American public is unaware, are other examples which seemed to deter many theatres from producing farces.
SO…Michael challenged himself to write a play which would integrate all the best loved and most familiar devices of the traditional British farce into a distinctly American setting. This had to be a play in which the verbal, visual, and above all, the circumstantial humor would be immediately available to American audiences. The result was an “American Farce”, THE SENSUOUS SENATOR, which was inspired by the then current sex scandal involving Senator Gary Hart. Produced in the summer of 1988, by the first theatre to read the script, The Delray Beach Playhouse, it was an immediate hit with both audiences and critics. Encouraged by the success of his first play, and the popularity of the British “naughty but nice” concept, he went on to write a sequel called THE AMOROUS AMBASSADOR. The rest, as they say, is history.
Samuel French Inc. New York, the largest play publishing company in the world, published THE AMOROUS AMBASSADOR in 1996, THE SENSUOUS SENATOR in 1998, THE LONE STAR LOVE POTION in 1999, HOTBED HOTEL in 2000, THERE’S A BURGLAR IN MY BED and WHOSE WIVES ARE THEY ANYWAY? in 2002, WHO’S IN BED WITH THE BUTLER? in 2003, NEVER KISS A NAUGHTY NANNY in 2006, (adapted in 2018 to NO SEX PLEASE - IT'S CHRISTMAS) and a new and exciting play co-authored by Michael and his wife Susan, SIN, SEX & the CIA in 2006. At this point in his life, Michael stated, "I have had so much fun writing with Susan that I will never write alone again." Then followed, SEX PLEASE WE'RE SIXTY, WHAT IS SUSAN'S SECRET? SEX PLEASE WE'RE SIXTY the MUSICAL, MONEY MATTERS, LOVE, LIES & the DOCTOR'S DILEMMA and their latest, SANDY TOES & SALTY KISSES.
Michael and Susan's plays continue to set box office records for non-musicals across America, from Florida to New England, from Texas to Wisconsin, from Southern California to Alaska. These American Farces are now finding the “export market” with recent productions in, Canada, England, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Australia, Pakistan, Mexico, Hungary Kenya, China, Panama, Belgium, New Zealand, Dominian Republic, Spain, and Cyprus. In all they have been successfully produced in over 30 countries around the world.