Don't panic! It's only the Dad's Army Radio Show coming to Barnard Castle
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
IT’S been more than 50 years since the classic sitcom Dad’s Army was first broadcast and weekly repeats are still being screened by the Beeb.
Now, fans of the show are in for a treat when the stage show comes to Barnard Castle next week.
The Dad’s Army Radio Show features David Benson and Jack Lane who between them, perform all the characters from the much-loved Warmington-on-Sea Home Guard.
Jack takes the parts of Mainwaring, Jones, Pike and other incidental characters, while David plays an assortment of regulars such as Wilson, Frazer, Godfrey and Walker along with the likes of the vicar, verger, Hodges and Mrs Fox.
Not surprisingly, Mainwaring is Jack’s favourite character to play.
“He’s a tricky voice to get right but Arthur Lowe’s timing is second to none, my main objective is to nail that,” he says.
“His exasperated reactions to Jones and lofty responses to Wilson are heaven for any actor.”
David adds: “I love playing Sergeant Wilson – which means playing John Le Mesurier, of course: utterly charming and elegant in his self-characterisation.”
Both actors are avid fans of the TV show and over the years have met many of those connected to the programme including writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft.
The duo say tackling the visual gags which were part and parcel of the TV shows was a challenge.
David says: “All the highly visual elements of our chosen episodes can be done with words, sound effects and the audience’s vivid imagination.”
The stage show has been blessed by the original radio script creators Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles.
Asked why Dad’s Army continues to prove so popular, David says: “Dad’s Army seems to be totally universal in its appeal.
“We have many elderly people coming to see us, who feel included and connected to our work, and to very young people indeed.”
And their favourite episodes?
David says: “I like those with real emotional undertow, such as Branded, where Godfrey confesses to having been a Conscientious Objector or Mum’s Army, which we are now performing, in which Mainwaring has a Brief Encounter moment.”
Jack adds: “In Mum’s Army, for the first time we see Mainwaring’s vulnerability when he falls for a new female recruit, Mrs Grey.
“I love pathos in comedy and this episode gives the cast the chance to flex their dramatic muscle, which is rarely seen in the series.”
They will bring The Dad’s Army Radio Show to The Witham on Tuesday, March 26.
Tickets are £13 for U16s and £15 for adults. Contact The Witham box office on 01833 631107.