Company of Ten brings comedy Radio Fun to the Abbey Theatre stage

PUBLISHED: 14:11 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 20:43 05 September 2020

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne Frizell

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne Frizell

Anne Frizell

Forget your troubles and enjoy an evening of belly laughs courtesy of the Company of Ten and their new show Radio Fun.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne FrizellRehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne Frizell

Written by TV sitcom supremos Brian Leveson and Paul Minett, of The Booze Cruise fame, performances will take place from Thursday, September 17 until Saturday, September 19.

St Albans’ Company of Ten will be taking audiences back to the days when corona was nothing more than a bottle of fizzy pop and families gathered round the radio for their evening entertainment.

Classic comedy and knockabout silliness will be the order of the day in this light-hearted, rib-tickling revue show performed in the style of an old-fashioned, live-broadcast BBC radio show.

Company of Ten member Brian Leveson and his writing partner Paul Minett have 45 years’ experience of tickling the nation’s funny-bones and they will be serving up a delicious slice of humour as only they know how.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne FrizellRehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne Frizell

During their career, they have written material for some of television’s most popular comedians, including Russ Abbot, the Two Ronnies, Kenny Everett, Les Dawson, and Frankie Howerd.

You will find their names on around 125 episodes of various sitcoms including The Piglet Files, May to December, Time after Time, which won a British Comedy Award, Close To Home, Oh, Doctor Beeching! and My Family, which ran for over 100 episodes and won national and international awards.

Their work has twice won The Royal Television Society’s Award for Best Network Drama.

As director Katherine Barry puts it: “This is the perfect opener for our new season.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne FrizellRehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne Frizell

“We hope it will bring an evening of good cheer to our audiences coping in these unusual times.

“Our small but perfectly-formed cast of versatile performers is doing a superb job bringing a host of comic characters to life, whilst simultaneously adhering to the demands of social distancing on stage.”

Comedy writer Brian Leveson was more than happy to help when he heard the company was on the lookout for just the right show to get audiences laughing.

He said: “As the Company of Ten was looking for a show that could be easily staged under social distancing restrictions and which would be suitable for a Zoom audience, I offered them Radio Fun a sketch show utilising some of the scripts my writing partner and I had written in our early days.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne FrizellRehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne Frizell

“And we’re delighted that the always cheery Katherine Barry has agreed to direct a very good cast.”

Andrew Baird is one of the show’s four performers.

He said: “Making audiences laugh is one of the best jobs in theatre and I count myself lucky to be part of this extravaganza.”

Andrew appeared in the company’s production of Ben Hur last year and is more than ready to meet this new challenge.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne FrizellRehearsals for Company of Ten's upcoming live-streamed show Radio Fun. Picture: Anne Frizell

Jill Priest is a very recognisable face on the local theatre circuit.

“I have a great fondness for character work and this show gives me ample opportunity to conjure up a wide variety of different ‘people’,” said Jill.

Each performance of this production will be streamed live from the Abbey Theatre Main Stage and will not be pre-recorded.

Details for the live-stream link will be sent to ticketholders by email in advance.

Performances will take place at 8pm each night of its run.

To book tickets go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk


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