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Radio Times (Plymouth - tour)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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The Radio Times, The Musical tour creaks to a close in Plymouth this week.

The premise is simple: the BBC are broadcasting live, from the Criterion Theatre during the Blitz, to not just its dedicated UK followers but, for the first time, to America.

Problematic enough that may be with the Luftwaffe overhead but add to the mix a new, jobs-worth producer and a love triangle between erstwhile, wisecracking host Sammy, Hollywood darling Gary and long-suffering Olive, and this is a show on the line.

Tom Rogers’ simple but clever set switches seamlessly between on stage and backstage, and Abi Grant’s script is full of witticisms, innuendo and groan-worthy one-liners. Noel Gay (Me and My Girl) provides the musical numbers which had some of the sparse audience singing along.

Alistair David has the cast hoofing it well and director Caroline Leslie pulls it all together in a blast from the past atmospheric piece.

Charismatic Gary Wilmot (Me and My Girl, Copcacabana, Oliver, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) is excellent as wisecracking rogue Sammy. His timing is, as ever, faultless and he exudes likeability.

John Conroy (Ladykillers, Royal Exchange) hams it up in a gift of a part as Bultitude and Vivien Carter (Soho Cinders, Evita) is notable as Amy.

All the cast is versatile – all singing, dancing and playing – but the enthusiasm seems to have gone and, for all Wilmot’s hard work, there was just no spark here.



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