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Round The Horne UK Tour Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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Nostalgia Never Sounded This Funny Or So Good
Some things clearly don't survive the ravages of time - but good comedy certainly does.

And so it proved at the Lichfield Garrick theatre when the 50th anniversary UK tour of Round The Horne dropped in for a couple of nights.

Round The Horne, Lichfield Garrick
The 50th anniversary tour of Round The Horne

The classic 1960s radio show, which starred Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Horne, Betty Marsden, Hugh Paddick and Douglas Smith, has been turned into a highly amusing and very entertaining theatre show.

From 1965 to 1968 there wasn't a bigger radio programme in Britain than the ground-breaking Round the Horne, which regularly attracted up to 15 million listeners for each of its half-hour Sunday afternoon shows.

The mix of risqué innuendo, clever wordplay, and saucy camp caricature was way ahead of its time and clearly proved irresistible to its audience.

So, 50 years on from the first of the 67 episodes that were ever broadcast, Round The Horne is back with a compilation of the sketches, routines and infamous movie spoofs originally created by writers Barry Took and Marty Feldman in the 60s.

Lichfield Garrick
The main stage of Lichfield Garrick theatre

The Lichfield Garrick stage was turned into the BBC's Paris Studio which, despite its name, was situated in central London.

This modern Apollo Theatre Company production superbly recreates the original 1960s cast with Julian Howard McDowell as Kenneth Horne and Colin Elmer as Kenneth Williams particularly convincing.

But they were well aided in this trip back in time by Eve Winters as Betty Marsden, Jonathan Hansler as Hugh Paddick and Nick Wymer as the announcer Douglas Smith.

Throughout the two recreated 'episodes' the audience was treated to all the regular characters, from Kenneth Williams' Rambling Sid Rumpo and J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock, to Charles and Fiona, Kenneth Horne 'Master Spy', and the camp pairing of Julian and Sandy.

Lichfield Garrick
The theatre became the BBC's Paris studio for 2 nights

Remaining 2015 tour dates:

30 October: Hexagon Theatre, Reading / 0118 960 6060
5-7 November: Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford / 01483 44 00 00
12-14 November: Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold / 01352 701 521
17-19 November: Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury / 01722 320 333
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Why? See What 15 Million People Found So Funny
When: 30 October - 19 November 2015
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6HR
Cost: £17 a ticket
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