Steptoe and Son* (Lyric Hammersmith, 25 March 2013)

Posted: March 26, 2013 in Theatre

This production originated in Leeds, so staging it within a mile of Shepherd’s Bush really is the equivalent of taking coal to Newcastle. The show consists of four episodes from the tv series, embelished with some rather weird dance routines to 60s pop songs. Some considerable effort seems to have been put into it, the set is admirable whilst Mike Shepherd as Albert and Dean Nolan as Harold are both true to the originals, without resorting to outright impersonations. However, it all seemed pointless and completely unfunny to the extent that it became difficult to understand why the tv show was ever a success. Maybe it is just the passage of time that has made scripts that were once thought brilliant come across as so feeble. Or maybe it only ever worked because of the chemistry between the tv actors. In any event, I could not connect with it on any level and left at the interval. For the sake of those who stayed, I hope that the second half was better.

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