Observations: Roaring Forties blow into town
Friday 29 May 2009
While most of the UK gears up for tomorrow's televised final of Britain's Got Talent, spare a thought for those who prefer to ride a different entertainment wave.
For more than a year, the chaps and gels of the Fitzrovia Radio Hour have been charming London nostalgists with their live fringe performances of classic radio plays of the 1940s and 1950s. Tonight, however, marks their debut at the UnderGlobe, the 300-seat exhibition space beneath Shakespeare's Globe on the South Bank.
Founded by jobbing actors Jon Edgley Bond, Alex Ratcliffe and Forties enthusiast Callum Coates, the Radio Hour was named after the location of its earliest broadcasts, a basement speakeasy in a former department store off Charlotte Street in London's Fitzrovia.
The basic format remains true to this day: four short plays – tonight themed around the concepts of time and space – delivered in cut-glass accents and accompanied by DIY sound effects and a superb house band. Not to mention spoof advertisements with deliciously un-PC plugs for whisky, Bromo Quinine tablets and cigarettes.
"This is not pastiche," insists Edgley Bond, 32, who cites both The League of Gentlemen and The Goon Show as writing influences. "Rather than sending up the genre, we're trying to recreate a ramped-up version. There's a lot of subversion in those original scripts." Even so, both cast and audience enjoy showcasing an authentic look. Edgley Bond swears by Mister Ducktail off Carnaby Street for his regulation RAF crop, plus lashings of pomade.
Tickets are a ration-friendly £5. And such are the joys of 21st century wireless that past episodes are now available as podcasts for those who find themselves far from Fitzrovia on a Friday night.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East