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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Mallaburn’

This homage / spoof of those mid-20th century shows on the airwaves has been something I’ve fancied trying for a while. I almost added it to my Edinburgh Fringe schedule this year, then this try-out turned up in a new venue, so off we went.

It covers similar ground to the Dick Barton shows at Croydon Warehouse and the recent Round the Horne recreations, sounding like the former and looking like the latter. It recreates a time when whole families sat around the wireless to hear tales told by actors with sound effects and music. Here, we’re with five actors in evening dress at the other end, in the studio, lined up behind microphones and surrounded by a vast array of items to create sound effects.

In 60 minutes, we get four tales, including 2 two-parters – a murder mystery and a thriller set in a tin mine – and one for kids. Each of the actors take multiple roles and create the extraordinary range of sound effects. I’m not sure the inclusion of commercials for tea is true to the period, but they’re fun nonetheless.

It’s funny, charming and above all a virtuoso performance. The success of the show relies much more on the performances than the writing and these, from Jon Edgley Bond, Tom Mallaburn, Phil Mulryne, Dorothea Myer-Bennett and Fiona Sheehan, were faultless.

Even though it’s only an hour, it’s taken at an exhausting pace and might benefit from a break half-way through, with the second parts of the two-parters in the second half (!), but this is destined for Edinburgh and intervals mean time and time means money, so I can see why they run it straight through.

It was my first visit to the New Diorama Theatre inside the also new Regent’s Place development at the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Euston Road. The communication links are great, there’s a good bar / cafe with outside seating and they’re all very friendly. A welcome addition to the London fringe.

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