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Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (Tour - Newcastle)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Bringing the books of Spike Milligan to life on stage was never going to be easy and full credit must be given to Director and Co- Adaptor Tim Carroll and fellow Co-adaptor Ben Power for their attempt. While not totally successful, Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall is an enjoyable show but noticeably appeals more to the audience who are of the generation that remember Spike and of course the Goon Show.

The production uses a concert party theme to tell us the story of Milligan’s army experiences (including piles), weaving comedy, sketches and music from the period in to the events. Songs from the era waft across the footlights and include Ain’t Misbehavin , Honeysuckle Rose, The Nearness of You and a Glenn Miller Melody. They are performed by the cast and a delight to hear, infact a few more numbers would not have gone amiss.

Sholto Morgan plays the lead role and while not impersonation Spike, his manner and timing leave us in no doubt that Milligan manic behaviour led to the iconic Goon Show. The comedy comes thick and fast at times and it would take a second viewing to catch all the gags that are thrown at the audience. But underneath the comedy, we can recognise the loneliness, boredom and friendship that affected Milligan and his fellow soldiers.

At times the production feels like a cross between Privates on Parade and a Joan Littlewood production rather than having its own identity. But the very talented cast of five Dominic Gerrard, Matt Devereaux, William Findlay , David Morley Hale and Sholto Morgan keep the production ticking along.


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