Theatre Review – ‘Dad’s Army’ (Everyman Theatre Company)

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

It’s the 50th anniversary of ‘Dad’s Army’ this year! Wow! How amazing it is to think that this gentle war-time BBC comedy series would continue to be talked about and make people laugh since its first transmission on TV in 1968. What better way to celebrate this TV series and see a stage version of it!

On Saturday the 7th of July, my parents and I went to see the stage production of ‘Dad’s Army’ at the Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival organised by the Everyman Theatre Company. We saw this performance at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and it took place at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff that day.

It was gloriously sunny weather for that day which was a good thing as well as a bad thing, but I’ll talk about that bit when we get to it. This stage performance of ‘Dad’s Army’ featured a combination of three classic episodes from the TV series. It also featured pretty good performances from the cast.

I’ve seen open-air theatre productions by the Everyman Theatre Company of this calibre before including stage versions of ‘Fawlty Towers’. They were performed in St. Fagan’s before going on at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. I am pleased that I found out about this stage version of ‘Dad’s Army’.

I enjoyed how the actors put the effort into their characters for ‘Dad’s Army’. Gregory Owens was pretty good as Captain Mainwaring and Michael Morgan and Hefin Robinson were pretty believable as Sergeant Wilson and Private Pike. I especially enjoyed watching Wayne Vincent as Corporal Jones.

The three episodes that were dramatised for the stage are as follows. The first episode was ‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’. I was surprised to see this one performed for the stage since it’s an episode from Series 2 and it’s not one that I regard so highly. But I guess it is a stage-friendly episode at that.

The second episode was ‘The Godiva Affair’. I like how this episode incorporated the ending of ‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ into it as well as incorporating elements from ‘Mum’s Army’ that I recognised. Clare Morgan is pretty good as Mrs. Fox and I did like how Mainwaring reacted to his wife as Godiva.

But of course the episode that everyone expected to be adapted for the stage, including myself, was the famous episode, ‘The Deadly Attachment’. I love how this episode was adapted for the stage and even included elements of the radio version of the episode which I recognised. Everyone waited for it when Mainwaring said “Don’t tell him Pike!” The audience including me gave a round of applause.

Going back to it being a sunny day, it was really nice that it was dry weather and that it wasn’t raining to spoil for the actors performing on stage. The downside however is that it was a pretty hot day since sadly Richard Watson who played Frazer ‘fell out’ due to being ill during the performance.

This was a shame but thankfully the show went on and the actors performed reasonably well. Ceris Jones who played Walker filled in for Frazer by saying some of his lines during ‘The Deadly Attachment’. I think it would’ve been better to see this performance during the evening on that day.

The performance ended on a really jovial note. The ‘Dad’s Army’ cast including Captain Mainwaring broke the fourth wall to us as an audience with some in-jokes on recent events in Cardiff and even did a ‘sing-a-long’ for us to join in. We of course sang ‘Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr. Hitler?’ 🙂 and a captivating war-time favourite, ‘Run Rabbit, Run’. I did mess up on the lyrics for that song. 😀

So the ‘Dad’s Army’ theatre performance by the Everyman Theatre Company was great to watch that sunny afternoon. There were hiccups during the first act, but this was made up for in the second act. The cast of actors were great and the adaptations of the TV episodes onto stage were well done.

I hope there will be another ‘Dad’s Army’ stage performance like this again in the near future. There were plenty of laughs and it was fun how the Everyman Theatre Company performers interpreted ‘Dad’s Army’ for the stage. It certainly was superb to celebrate 50 years of ‘Dad’s Army’ for that day.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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