There are few television sitcoms that tickle the funny bone as frequently and consistently as Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s Dad’s Army. I grew up with the series and count myself a die-hard fan and was quite excited when I learned Newport Playgoers were going to tackle a stage interpretation of the show.
Having long enjoyed the work of Richard Dymond, I have often felt his likeness and stature are remarkably close to the late Arthur Lowe. So when he led the platoon onto the stage as Captain Mainwaring to rapturous applause one truly felt the spirit of Walmington On Sea had entered The Dolman Theatre.
Every pause, reaction and comic interjection is well timed and close to the original. Not only in the case for Dymond as Mainwaring, but also Eamonn Corbett as the unflappable Sergeant Wilson, Rob Jacobs as old soldier Jones, John Davies as dour Scot Frazer and Ryan Salter as ‘stupid boy’ Pike. Jes Hynes makes a smooth transition from spiv Private Walker to WC (War Correspondent) Cheeseman while Peter Hourihane’s Private Godfrey never fails to raise a smile.
Three classic episodes make the cut to stage, The Deadly Attachment featuring the classic “Don’t Tell Him Pike” line and an encounter with an unsavoury U Boat Captain (John Sheen), Mum’s Army, the series own take on Brief Encounter when Mainwaring falls for the charms of Mrs Gray (Chris Burrows) and The Godiva Affair which features the platoons hilarious attempt at Morris Dancing.
Don’t miss this definitive tribute to Britain’s greatest Television Sitcom. Dad’s Army continues to fall in at The Dolman Theatre until Saturday.
Photos by Phil Mansell