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Off the King’s Road with


Neil Koenigsberg Y


ou may know Neil Koenigsberg as a heavy hitter in the enter-


tainment world, but maybe not in his current role of playwright. The ‘K’ in the mega-publicity firm


PMK, producer of movies like Tab Hunter Confidential and manager of Jeff Bridges, Ed Harris, Ally Sheedy and Amy Madigan among others, Koenigsberg has, in his 70s, achieved another ambition and become a playwright. His play, Off the King’s Road, has had runs in New York then LA and now comes to London. The star of the production


is the London-resident Ameri- can actor Michael Brandon, who you’ll remember from Episodes, Captain


America,


Dempsey and Makepeace and Jerry Springer The Opera. The two go way back. “We went to high school


together in New York City, and both decided to go into show business,” says Neil. “Little did we know that our careers and our lives would intertwine. Out of high school, going to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, his first little role was on Broadway with Al Pacino and I was there. I would see every movie and televi- sion show and play he was in. I went to Boston University and got my BA in film and com-


56 The American


Not just a Chelsea location, Off the King’s Road is a new play about ‘life, death and the whole damn thing’


munication. I would come to London on business and see him, because he’s lived there for over 20 years. He’d see me in LA and New York. We stayed great friends. I became a publicist then a talent manager and documentary producer, and now I write plays. I always had the urge to be creative, that’s probably why I left the PR company – it had got so big. “Off the King’s Road is set in Lon-


don and my dream was always to put it on there, but anyone who’s crea-


tive gets used to being rejected all the time so I thought it would never happen. Then Michael, who saw the play in New York, said he’d be per- fect to do it as he’s an American who lives in London and he submitted it to a few places. We did a reading of it two years ago in a festival and it went pretty well, then Michael found an investor and the Jermyn Street Theatre were interested so we got it together really quickly. “Here are these two kids from New York who never lost touch, now I’m flying over to my teenage friend and he’s starring in my play. “I love London, I’ve been


there for business or pleasure over 50 times, but the play is not my story, it’s a composite. It’s about a man who lives in LA. His wife has just died, he’s in mourning, and the story is about why he’s in a hotel in Chelsea, London, and the char- acters he meets. I do stay in a little hotel off the King’s Road, but this is not that hotel, it’s fic- tionalized. But the play reflects my passions for London and affections for Britain.”


Off The Kings Road is at Jer- myn Street Theatre, London from June 1st to 25th, 2016


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