Round the Horne Confirms Closure at Venue, 2 AprDate: 4 March 2005
Round the Horne...Revisited has posted closing notices at The Venue, off Leicester Square. Following success at the White Bear, a 46-seat pub theatre in south London, the stage tribute to the classic 1960s radio serial transferred to the West End on 22 January 2004. It will now close on 2 April 2005 after an oft-extended run of 15 months.
In the original Round the Horne on the airwaves, the mad-cap bunch of comedians - Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Horne, Douglas Smith and Betty Marsden – mercilessly sent up the establishment. The programme inspired a street language for gay men (Polari) and originated still common phrases such as “drama queen”.
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 series based on original scripts, songs and characters - by Cooke and his former partners, Barry Took, Marty Feldman and Johnnie Mortimer - as well as previously unheard and new material (See News, 9 Dec 2003).
At The Venue, though operating under a Revisited 2 title, the show is actually now onto its third edition, having also presented a Christmas-themed special. The third in the series includes a recital by the Round the Horne Gilbert, Sullivan and Saveloy stretching society. Directed by Michael Kingsbury, the cast remains Charles Armstrong, Kate Brown, Nigel Harrison, Jonathan Rigby and Robin Sebastian.
Despite the West End closure, a separate production of the first Round the Horne continues regionally while Revisited 2 will embark on its own nationwide tour in September 2005. At The Venue, no further productions have yet been announced.
- by Terri Paddock