Posts Tagged ‘Ben Tolley’

This is the ninth annual musical play based on BBC Radio’s 1940s Dick Barton character that’s been staged at the Warehouse Theatre in Croydon. You’d have thought the formula would have run its course by now. It’s only the second one I’ve seen, but it was better than the first, so maybe not.

It’s a silly plot with dreadful puns and OK tunes, but somehow it does add up to a fun couple of hours. This is as much to do with the performers – six actors playing a lot more than six parts – as the writing and staging. Ryan Gibb is authentic as the BBC announcer, Matt Bannister captures the 40’s well as Dick, Ben Tolley is a good loyal sidekick and I very much liked Jonathan Busby’s kilted Jock.  Annabelle Brown did sterling work playing all the female roles – except the housekeeper (an excellent Robert Maskell, who also gave us a camp Red Indian chief, amongst others).

This talented cast also double up as the band (I like the way they acknowledge the band at the curtain call!). In the songs, they’ve sneaked in a few references to (amongst others) I Am What I Am from La Cage Aux Folles and a number from Grease in an otherwise original score.

I’m not sure I could go every year, but it was a lot of fun and I don’t regret checking it out once more.

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