Being the parent of one teenager and one “almost” teenager, it is not very often that I organise something that everyone is happy to attend. But Dad’s Army’s good honest British humour has a timeless quality that travels well through the generations it seems, as everyone was looking forward to the performance by Nomads at The Kings Theatre in Newmarket on Friday night.
We were not disappointed! This performance, directed by John Mitchel and Sarah Smith, delivered and surpassed expectations. With a quick fire script, the cast’s timing was paramount and they came up trumps every time, delivering such classics as, “Don’t tell him Pike” and, “You stupid boy,” with a spontaneity that made it all seem remarkably fresh!
The reliable and stalwart Captain Mainwaring, played by Steve Beach, was very believable as the pillar of the home guard in the fictitious Walmington-on-sea. (A place that Nigel Farage and the Brexiters would probably feel very at home living in. The fact that this series was originally written in the 1970’s and satires this notion of “Britishness” says it all!) The comic timing between Steve and the other actors was flawless, especially Corporal Jones, played by Colin Scott, who made being a step behind the others look easy! The other men in the ranks were equally entertaining with the Scottish Frazer having the audience in stitches every time he spoke and the dodgy Walker whose black market dealings were hinted at throughout, suggesting that perhaps some of the men were not as respectable as the upstanding Mainwaring would have liked.
Being a product of the 1970s the script had air of the classic carry-on films. The women were generally referred to by their thighs and legs and innuendos were rife. However, the cast sent this up brilliantly and April Cook as Mrs Fox was absolutely hilarious, as was the lecherous Mr Gordon who hammed up his role brilliantly, exposing the sexism as rather sinister. I don’t think I will ever be able to hear the word “Fleshings” again!
So, after many hilarious comic twists and turns, a hobby horse outfit and a few extra-marital friendships, the play ended with a riotous choir performance of the Floral Dance.
The performance was lively, energetic and hilarious throughout. The Young Nomads did a stellar job as the prisoners and the Godiva girls and it is clear that Mrs Pike played by Tanya Collins did have very good legs!
My whole family really enjoyed the evening and I left thinking how lucky Newmarket is to have such a beautiful theatre and such a talented theatre group to entertain us.