Continuing our series on celebrating theatre productions that have played South Wales Andy Howells recalls five stage adaptations of TV comedy classics.
Bringing a Television comedy classic to a theatre stage is no easy task. We all have our favourites such as Dad’s Army, Porridge or Black Adder and a theatrical interpretation of any of such show is a tough act to fill whether it’s a professional or amateur presentation!
Here are five of my favourites that have played South Wales in the last 12 years or so, I make no apologies for saying they are my favourites, in each case the presentation captured the essence of the original and added a unique twist of its own!
Newport Playgoers Dolman Theatre, 2013
“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.”
Porridge (UK Tour)
New Theatre, Cardiff, 2009
“As Ronnie Barker brought the character of old lag Fletcher to life on television, former EastEnder Shaun Williamson does the same for the character on stage. Williamson never impersonates Barker, instead he goes for the lovable mischievous essence of the character that endeared Fletcher to millions back in the 1970s and by doing so delivers a convincing and frequently humorous portrayal”
Newport Playgoers, Dolman Theatre, 2011
“Alex Wilson’s portrayal of Basil Fawlty cleverly unfolds as a ticking time bomb of irrational behaviour duly opposed by his fearsome wife Sybil, played to perfection by Nicky Davies.”
Everyman Theatre, Open Air Festival, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, 2019
“Fans of Hi-De-Hi! will recall much of the shows plotlines took place outdoors. The Open-Air format lends itself beautifully to the storyline for games, slapstick fun and dance routines.”
Red Herring Theatre and Newport Playgoers, Dolman Theatre, Newport, 2019
“David Constant, Ricky Valentine and Tom Dyer become the total embodiments respectively of the self-assured Blackadder, his idiotic servant, Baldrick and silly friend, Percy. All three actors create a loving homage to the tv originals as the mannerisms, energy and slapstick comedy including juggling disembodied heads, punching faces and organising a farcical dinner event take place – all in true Blackadder style!”