Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

dads army head 

Dad’s Army

The Nonentities

The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster


IT’S fair to say that without the work of comedy writers Perry and Croft the BBC would have been a very austere place through the 70s and 80s.

With sit coms like It ‘aint half Hot Mum, Hi De Hi dads army castand of course Dad’s Army their timing was perfect, with just about enough time to have passed for a nostalgic and comical take on the war and post wartime years of Britain.

It is their gentle inoffensive view of our perceived national ineptness that made them so successful.

Ready to take on the might of the Third Reich, the Walmington-on-Sea platoon of the Home Guard

With the Rose theatre sweltering in the 25-degree C heat of a summer’s night, it ironically might have been more appropriate to have stage It ‘ain half hot Mum but the Nonentities have selected three episodes of Dads Army. The chosen scripts were Deadly Attachment, Mum’s Army and The Godiva Affair and as all the characters remain the same they have strung them into an episodic play.   

It’s a hard task for any company to take on the roles of such loved and familiar characters. Even the recent cinema resurrection of Dad’s Army struggled to capture the TV magic of the iconic series originally starring Arthur Lowe, John LeMesurier and Clive Dunne but overall the Nonentities made the production their own.  

This is probably one of the largest casts that they have assembled with 35 players in total delivering the three 30 minute plays. Although the cast have clearly studied the mannerisms and voices of the original actors they have not fallen into the trap opikef mere impersonations but bring an element of their own originality to the scripts.  

Captain Mainwaring was ably portrayed by Bob Graham in his own style but Stanley Barten did a great job as Sergeant Wilson mimicking a lot of the physical foibles of John LeMesurier. Lance Corporal Jones, the manic butcher with tales of his former military years, was played by Richard Taylor.

Stephen Downing was Private Godfrey and again was delightful as the soft caring man with a tendency for a weak bladder.

Patrick Bentley took on the crazed Frazer and perfected his Scottish accent getting a huge round of applause when delivering a version his famous, often repeated catch phrase `he’s doomed’. Private Walker, the Cockney Spiv was played by Richard Casewell and Alex Powell left a strong impression with his lively take on the bumbling yet innocent Pike.

Alex Powell as Private Pike

All of the cast worked exceptionally well to recreate the Dad’s Army flavour and with a clever set that enabled the interior of Mainwarings office to be seen and also the church hall the small space was also quickly transformed into several other locations.  

Despite the heat, the opening night was a sellout and that is testament to how revered the original Dad’s Army series and the characters it portrayed still are.

If you are a fan of Dad’s Army it’s a must see. The writing still displays all of the innocent sensibility of a time before political correctness began to hammer out any potential misunderstanding in a given phrase and the Nonentities treated the three episodes they have chosen, with great respect and a healthy dose of new comic timing. To 11-06-16.

Jeff Grant


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