Wednesday 26 September 2018

Guest Blog: Craig Deeley on Round The Horne: Resuscitated


I’m currently in rehearsals to reprise the role of Kenneth Williams, in a performance of Round The Horne: Resuscitated, which I’m also directing, and which is going to take place at Birmingham Comedy Festival on 7th October. I first became aware of Round The Horne when I heard clips of the camp, jobbing actors Julian and Sandy on a radio comedy show, and I realised then, as a boy of 14 or 15, that this was the man from the Carry Ons. At that age, I was unaware of any of Kenny’s work outside the Carry Ons and when I received a compilation cassette of the Best of Julian and Sandy, I realised I needed to hear more of the show.

I fell in love with Round the Horne the first time I heard a complete show. It had so much going on: catchphrases, strong comic characters, funny songs, spoofs, and most of all, the thing that held it all together: a very funny script.

10 years ago I was lucky enough to play Kenny in Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, a play by Terry Johnson, exploring the semi-true relationship between Williams, Barbara Windsor and Sid James, during the filming of the for films in the title, with all the action taking place in Sid’s Merry Traveller caravan / dressing room. The director of the play, Nick Owen, and co-star Katie Merriman, who played Babs, Carry On fanatics themselves will also be in our RTH revival as Douglas Smith and Betty Marsden. Hugh Paddick will be played by Andrew Smith, with whom I worked on our original revival around 6 years ago, and completing the line-up, as the man himself, Marcus Hendry as Kenneth Horne.

Our show is basically a longer, ‘best-of’ episode, where we try to cram in as many of the popular characters, sections, and catchphrases from across all 4 series. Once we secured the rights to performs, it’s been a real labour of love trawling through so many episodes to scan scripts, transcribe recordings, and create sound effects and music links. Not to mention the fun we’ve had doing read-throughs and rehearsals. We want the audience to feel like they’re present at one of the recordings of the show, and get a sense of the fun the performers had, on and off-script! Although this will be only the second time performed by the troupe in its current incarnation, we’re very proud of the show, and would like to do more, because we know it’s definitely got allies.

Round The Horne: Resuscitated.
The Victoria, 7th October, 5pm – 6pm.
Admission Free.
Part of Birmingham Comedy Festival

Photo (L-R) Andrew Smith – Hugh Paddick, Craig Deeley – Kenneth Williams, Marcus Hendry – Kenneth Horne, Katie Merriman – Betty Marsden, Nick Owen – Douglas Smith.

I interviewed Craig for the blog back in 2016 and you can read that again here

And you can find out more about the Birmingham Comedy Festival here:

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

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