Review: A Livestream with Dad’s Army (Crazy Coqs/Fane)

Transmitted live from The Crazy Coqs last night (where there was a small, in-person audience), Messrs Lowe and co returned to the stage in A Livestream with Dad’s Army aka The Dad’s Army Radio Show last night for Fane Online.

“Two actors, two microphones, over twenty-five characters – and lots of sound effects! The nation’s favourite sitcom returns to the stage for the first time in 2021 in this highly-acclaimed production!”

The blurb is spot on – what you see and hear is what you get, and this talented pair of performers certainly know their stuff and have the ability to tickle your funny bone.

David Benson (a marvellous Wilson and a seductive Mrs Fox) and Jack Lane (effortlessly swapping between Pike and Mainwaring) work from original radio scripts to return us to Walmington-on-Sea.

They play all the characters and do all the sound effects. It’s a clever conceit playing tribute to a solid gold classic. Situations come into sharp relief, class lines are clearly drawn.

Jack Lane snd David Benson

This livestream features two episodes newly adapted for stage; ‘When You’ve Got To Go’ and ‘Never Too Old’. The choice of episodes (an early one with Pike’s call-up, and the final one with the marriage of Lance Cpl Jones and Mrs Fox) are well-chosen, with a place for everyone and a chance for back histories to shine.

The voices are so spot on in this show, you can close your eyes and find yourself back with the classic team. All your favourites are here with their own vetbal flourishes. No catchphrase is forgotten or character trait overlooked.

The battle for supremacy between Captain Manwaring and Mr Hodges. The contrast between the Captain’s wince when his wife Elizabeth is mentioned and Sgt Wilson’s affection for long-time lady friebd Mrs Pike. The touching camaraderie of old men taking up arms again to defend their coast.

Minor characters are present too, from the fussy verger to snobbish Miss Godfrey. Wartime drama is easily batted away as a lovestruck Jones, a butcher, wonders if his intended loves him for himself “or my meat”.

An affectionate tribute to the work of David Croft and Jimmy Perry, this is also a fascinating insight into the old days of radio broadcast. You might be back in the Broadcasting House Theatre, with its years old ghostly entertainment pressed into the walls.

Recommended for any fan of this most timeless of sitcoms, you can book access to A Livestream with Dad’s Army here.

LouReviews received complimentary access to review A Livestream with Dad’s Army.