PREVIEW: Round the Horne: The 50th Anniversary Tour

October 1, 2016

Apollo Theatre Company bring radio classic to the Barn Theatre, Southwick to celebrate 50th anniversary.

Celebrating the ground-breaking
radio comedy series of the 1960s, Apollo Theatre Company lovingly recreate the original recordings from the BBC’s Paris Studios to mark fifty years of enduring laughter.

The production toured the country during 2015 and has just finished an eight week run at the Museum of Comedy in London.

With the eponymous Kenneth Horne at the Helm and the stellar supporting cast of Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick and Betty Marsden, Round the Horne burst onto the comedy scene in 1965.  With its infamous movie spoofs and hilarious regular characters such as Rambling Sid Rumpo, Charles and Fiona, J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock, and Julian and Sandy, it was one of the biggest radio programmes of its time, regularly garnering audiences of up to 15 million each week.  Known for its risqué double entendres and rude-sounding made-up words, Round the Horne was unlike anything that had gone before it, frequently testing the bounds of acceptability and decency.

The show is perhaps best remembered for the characters of Julian and Sandy and their use of the hitherto little-known camp slang, polari, which enabled the characters to say things that would otherwise have been completely unacceptable at the time.  In doing so Round the Horne broke boundaries by creating two openly homosexual characters, played by two homosexual actors, two years before homosexuality was decriminalised in Great Britain.

Director Tim Astley has compiled the script for this production using only material from the original broadcasts, with the full blessing and support of the original writers’ estates.

Explaining why he wanted to mount this production, Tim said: “As someone who has been a fan of Round the Horne since I was about 12 years old, I thought it was only right that its 50th anniversary be celebrated, and what better way to do that than to be able to transport fans back to the original recordings and recreate the anarchic atmosphere that made the programme such fun to listen to. 

“First and foremost I am a fan, and I am approaching this project with the ethos of being as faithful to the originals as we can.  We are lucky enough to be working with the original scripts and will be recreating them as accurately as possible so that every member of our audience, no matter how much they know about Round the Horne to begin with, leaves feeling that they have been transported back to the Paris Studio in 1965 and experienced first-hand those joyful recordings.”

Still broadcast to this day on BBC Radio 4 Extra, Round the Horne has endured tremendously over its fifty years and is still as funny today as it was then.  Not only will this production thoroughly entertain those who have loved this comedy series from day one, but hopefully also make new enthusiasts of the uninitiated.

You can catch the production locally today and tomorrow (October 4-5) at the Barn Theatre in Southwick at Leatherhead Theatre, Leatherhead on October 7 and at the the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne on November 4-5.

To book tickets for the Barn Theatre, Southwick, click here:

To book tickets for the Leatherhead Theatre, Leatherhead, click here:

To book tickets for Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne, click here:

For full list of tour dates, click here: