Saturday, 04 July 2020

Hit radio show live on stage

A SIXTIES radio comedy that drew in audiences of up to 15 million people is being performed on stage at the Kenton Theatre in Henley tomorrow (Saturday), writes Peter Anderson.

Round the Horne ran from 1965 to 1968 for 30 minutes every Sunday where Kenneth Horne and his merry crew got up to all sorts of mischief.

It featured now infamous movie spoofs and regular characters such as Rambling Sid Rumpo, Charles and Fiona, J Peasemold Gruntfuttock, and Julian and Sandy.

Now this ground-breaking show is being brought to the New Street venue by the producers of the UK tours of The Goon Show and Hancock’s Half Hour.

Its director Tim Astley said: “This is not the first time we have toured the show, but for each tour we faithfully reproduce a different group of three scripts.

“So, what the audience will be watching is effectively the recording of a radio programme as the ‘live audience’.

“For the original programme, they had the Frazer Hayes Four providing the musical interludes and whilst not singing they did the sound effects for the show.

“We are doing something similar, but we have Java Jive with us to sing and do any sound effects.”

Astley was introduced to films and radio shows, including Round the Horne, as a child, which led him into acting, writing and directing and, ultimately, replicating his favourite radio comedy shows.

He said: “Quite simply, and largely thanks to my grandfather, I fell in love with them. Growing up I had cassettes of the shows for birthday and Christmas presents.

“Plus, I knew how I wanted to do them. They tried a television version of Round the Horne it didn’t work, and I wasn’t surprised when I found later, they had not even listened to the radio version.”

Tickets for the show, which starts at 7.30pm, are £23 (concessions £21) from the box office on (01491) 525050 or visit www.kenton
theatre.co.uk

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