REVIEW: Dad’s Army, King’s Lynn Operatic and Dramatic Society, Guildhall

Dad's Army cast members photo-call for KLODS latest production King's Lynn ANL-161025-075829009
Dad's Army cast members photo-call for KLODS latest production King's Lynn ANL-161025-075829009
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Has there ever been a better loved sitcom on British television than Dad’s Army? Hard to think of one, and last night at the Guildhall in Lynn, KLODS staged a spirited re-creation of three of its most classic episodes.

The first was the Deadly Attachment, probably the most famous episode, in which the platoon have to guard some captured German submariners. It of course contains the classic line, delivered by Captain Mainwaring,“Don’t tell him Pike” when the German captain demands the young private give him his name “to go on zee list”.

The second was Mum’s Army, when Mainwaring has the idea of recruiting a women’s auxiliary but ends up falling for one of the recruits in a somewhat poignant echo of Brief Encounter.

And finally, there is more affairs of the heart when Mainwaring inadvisedly intervenes on Cpl Jones’ behalf with Mrs Fox in the Godiva Affair. And this contains some excellent morris dancing by the platton. Well done! And as always one of the funniest characters is someone who never appears, Capt Mainwaring’s fearsome wife Elizabeth.

Richard Abel really got some of the pomposity and vocal intonation in the role of Mainwaring, and John West certainly got the frenetic excitability always just below the surface with Jack Jones. There was good performances by Aiden McGovern and Mr Hodges and from Brendan Shepherd as the German U-boat captain and Grace Burton as Wainwaring’s love interest Mrs Gray.

This was a show greatly enjoyed by a pretty full Guildhall. Some of the humour has a certain 70s feel about it, but overall this is pretty timeless stuff and that of course is a great tribute to just how good the writing of David Croft and Jimmy Perry was. Every line was either funny or moved the story on. A true model of comedic efficiency and this production was a worthy tribute to Perry, who died just a few weeks ago, aged 93.

Dad’s Army continues until Saturday. The show is at 7.30pm.

Mark Leslie