Written in 1942, See How They Run premiered in Peterborough in 1944 before touring the country three times and, still in the midst of the Second World War, transferring to the West End’s Comedy Theatre in 1945 – three doodle bugs fell on London on the play’s opening night. It’s credited as the original “English vicar” play – at one stage, five men in dog collars are lined up on stage - and inspired the long-running TV comedy series Dad’s Army.
In the West End, Nancy Carroll appears alongside her real-life husband Jo Stone-Fewings (the couple’s dog Digby also makes a cameo onstage appearance) in a cast that also includes Tim Pigott-Smith, Julie Legrand, Nicholas Blane, Adrian Fear, Natalie Grady, Chris MacDonnell and Nicholas Rowe.
Overnight critics were mainly delighted to see Philip King’s madcap comedy – which several acknowledged as the first of all modern farces - back in the West End, despite some reservations that it may be too antiquated with limited appeal for modern audiences.
- by Caroline Ansdell