Dad's Army (stage show)

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A poster advertising the stage show

Dad's Army: A Nostalgic Music and Laughter Show of Britain’s Finest Hour was a 1975 stage adaptation of the BBC sitcom Dad's Army. Following the success of the television programme, the stage show was commissioned by Bernard Delfont in the spring of 1975.

Jimmy Perry and David Croft adapted material from the original scripts, making changes to allow for the absence of location filming. The show was in the style of a revue, with songs, familiar scenes from the show, and individual turns for cast members. It was produced by Roger Redfarn, who shared the same agent as the writers.

Cast[edit]

Character Original television series 1975 tour 2007 tour
Capt. George Mainwaring
Arthur Lowe
Peter Martin
Tim Knightley (halfway)
Sgt. Arthur Wilson
John Le Mesurier
David Warwick
Lcpl. Jack Jones Clive Dunn Jack Haig Richard Tate
Pvt. Joe Walker James Beck John Bardon Leslie Grantham
Pvt. James Frazer John Laurie Hamish Roughead
Pvt. Frank Pike
Ian Lavender
Tom Richardson
Pvt. Charles Godfrey
Arnold Ridley
Pvt. Maple Norman Macleod

Jeffrey Holland, who would frequently collaborate with Croft in the future, portrayed multiple roles whereas Richard Matthews was cast as the only 2 female roles in the 2007 tour. Croft was particually pleased with the casting of Jack Haig as Lcpl. Jack Jones as Haig was Croft's 1st choice for the role when they cast the television series.

Dates[edit]

The show opened at the Forum Theatre, Billingham, County Durham on 4 September 1975 for a two-week try out. A local critic wrote of the event:

"The special bond of affection between cast and audience helped each item spark along" - Kevin Eason[1]

After cuts and revisions, the show transferred to London’s West End and opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 2 October 1975. On the opening night there was a surprise appearance by Chesney Allen, singing the old Flanagan and Allen song Hometown with Arthur Lowe.

The show ran in the West End from 4 October to 21 February 1976, where it was disrupted twice by bomb scares, and then toured the country until 4 September 1976. The stage show was later revived, billed as Dad’s Army—The Musical, and toured Australia and New Zealand in 2004-2005, starring Jon English.

1976 UK tour dates[edit]

Venue City Start Finish
Opera House Manchester Tuesday 23 March 1976 Saturday 10 April 1976
Theatre Royal Nottingham Monday 12 April 1976 Saturday 1 May 1976
Bradford Alhambra Bradford Monday 3 May 1976 Saturday 15 May 1976
Hippodrome Birmingham Monday 17 May 1976 Saturday 22 May 1976
Pavilion Theatre Bournemouth Monday 24 May 1976 Saturday 5 June 1976
Winter Gardens Blackpool Monday 7 June 1976 Saturday 19 June 1976
Theatre Royal Newcastle Monday 22 June 1976 Saturday 3 July 1976
Richmond Theatre Richmond upon Thames Monday 12 July 1976 Saturday 24 July 1976
Theatre Royal Brighton Monday 26 July 1976 Saturday 21 August 1976
Theatre Royal Bath Monday 23 August 1976 Saturday 4 September 1976

Running order[edit]

Act One[edit]

  • Scene 1 Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?
  • Scene 2 Put that light out
  • Scene 3 When can I have a banana again?
  • Scene 4 Command Post
  • Scene 5 Private Pike's Dream
  • Scene 6 Cliff top: Lance Corporal Jones stands guard
  • Scene 7 Battle of Britain
  • Scene 8 Choir practice

Act Two[edit]

  • Scene 9 The song that we would rather forget
  • Scene 10 Unarmed combat
  • Scene 11 Tinpan alley
  • Scene 12 Morris Dance
  • Scene 13 A Nightingale sang in Berkley Square
  • Scene 14 Radio personalities of the 40s
  • Scene 15 The beach
  • Scene 16 Finale[2]

New stage show[edit]

In April 2007 a new Dad's Army stage show was announced. It featured two lost[3] episodes ("The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker" and "A Stripe for Frazer") combined with two additional episodes "Room at the Bottom" (of which only a black-and-white version existed until December 2008) and "The Deadly Attachment".[4] A sequel to the 2007 stage show was announced in December 2009 with the tour starting the following year. It features the same cast as the 2007 show, but has different episodes, including "Branded" and "Mum's Army".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Article in the Hartlepool Mail, 9 September 1975
  2. ^ An LP of the stage show entitled "Dad's Army" was released in 1975 by Warner Brothers, catalogue number K 56186
  3. ^ "Dad's Army Appreciation Society descriptions". Dadsarmy.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  4. ^ "BBC entertainment news". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Croft,D & Perry,J, Dad's Army: the lost episodes. London: Virgin, 1998 ISBN 1-85227-757-2
  • Pritchard,T: Stonehouse, Dad's Army- an appreciation. Dad's Army Appreciation Society, 2004 ISBN 0-9547702-0-X
  • Webber,R, Complete A-Z of Dad's Army. London Orion 2000 ISBN 0-7528-1838-4