Wilton’s Music Hall, London – until 26 January 2019
This nostalgically entertaining show offers a new way to experience the classic sitcom.
Marking the 50th anniversary since Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s beloved sitcom first hit television screens, fans of the show are given a new opportunity to relive some of the classic episodes through three classic radio episodes based on the original television scripts.
Performed with great energy and comic timing by David Benson and Jack Lane, Dad’s Army Radio Show is an entertaining and nostalgic look at one of the BBC’s best-known and loved comedy series.
With the two actors performing 25 characters between them, the show features the episodes Mum’s Army, The Deadly Attachment and Round And Round Went The Great Big Wheel – each featuring some of the many well known catch-phrases that have become a fond part of British comedy. To comment on the plots would ruin a lot of the funny incidents and lines that are wonderfully portrayed within this show.
The show reflects the charm of the television series, with both actors attempting to recreate how the original television actors characterised many of the characters including Lance Corporal Jones, Private Pike, Captain Mainwaring. While this means that the television series is affectionately in our minds throughout, it would have been interesting to see how both Benson and Lane would have made the characters their own more.
However, the way in which the show is presented so simply means that the audience can really focus on the characters and sit back and enjoy the wit of Perry and Croft’s scripts that are so vividly brought to life. There is also certainly a great energy and pace throughout Owen Lewis’ production that sweep the audience thoroughly into Walmington-On-Sea and the characters found there.
But it has to be said that perhaps covering two scripts would be enough for the show as having an interval just so an extra episode can be fitted in seems a little bit pointless, disrupting the flow of the show.
Overall, this is a gentle and affectionate way for people to rediscover the humour and joy to be found through Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s wonderfully varied characters and scripts. If you are a fan of the original television series then you won’t want to miss this.
By Emma Clarendon
Dad’s Army Radio Show will continue to play at the Wilton’s Music Hall until the 26th January.