THEATRE / On theatre

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On Broadway, they were billed as An After-Dinner Farrago. Here, the expression 'at the drop of a hat instantly conjures up the gleeful enthusiasm and urbane wit that was Flanders and Swann. Their hugely successful shows - two men, a piano and considerable style - were among the last delicious gasps of the long-lost age of intimate revue.

Alan Strachan, responsible for Nol and Gertie and Wendy Toye, now in her seventies and responsible for virtually everything else in British musical theatre have put together Under Their Hats, a new Flanders and Swann revue, ranging from the genuinely poignant (and unsentimental) Misalliance - a love affair between the honeysuckle and the bindweed - to 'A Transport of Delight - paean to London buses.

The cast includes Stefan Bednarczyk (right), who, alongside acting in Neil Bartlett's The Game of Love and Chance at the National and The LA Plays at the Almeida, has a parallel career as a musician with one man shows including the winningly-entitled Bednarczyk and Broomsticks, so he knows good material when he sees it. 'Swann comes from that whole tradition of English art-songs, but at the same time, he manages to take the piss and Flanders's wit undercuts it beautifully. Their songs are like short stories. They have great character and are very finely drawn. They're definitely not dated. They're of their time, but that's entirely different.'

King's Head box office: 071-226 1916

(Photograph omitted)

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