Round the Horne & Rat Pack Present Xmas SpecialsDate: 24 November 2004
Over the coming weeks, performances of Round the Horne...Revisited, the hit comedy tribute to the classic radio serial will take on a festive flavour, both in London and on the road.
At The Venue, off London’s Leicester Square, the special Christmas edition will run from 2 December 2004 to 22 January 2005 (also the date of the show’s first anniversary in the West End). Meanwhile, the separate touring production will mount its Christmas special edition for the final 2004 tour stop at The Lowry in Salford from 7 to 23 December 2004 (See News, 28 Jul 2004).
Brian Cooke, the last still living member of the original writing team of the 1960s radio comedy series, has written and adapted the new stage play based on two live radio episodes as well as previously unheard material by Cooke and his former partners, Barry Took, Marty Feldman and Johnnie Mortimer (See News, 9 Dec 2003).
In the original radio programme, the mad-cap bunch of comedians - Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Horne, Douglas Smith and Betty Marsden –mercilessly sent up the establishment. Directed by Michael Kingsbury, the current West End cast for the stage version features Charles Armstrong, Kate Brown, Nigel Harrison, Jonathan Rigby and Robin Sebastian. Round the Horne is presented by Joabri Productions.
Meanwhile, at the West End’s Strand Theatre, The Rat Pack - Live from Live Vegas - the concert-style tribute show starring look- and sound-alikes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr – this week launched its own festive edition, which will continue until 8 January 2004 (See News, 15 Jun 2004).
The Christmas with the Rat Pack-themed show is adapted to include seasonal favourites - such as "Baby It's Cold Outside", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow", "White Christmas", "Winter Wonderland" and "Auld Lang Syne" - in addition to a the usual parade of cool classics like "I've Got You Under My Skin", "That's Amore", "That Old Black Magic" and "My Way" to the accompaniment of a live 15-piece Big Band and a full supporting cast.
- by Terri Paddock