Friday, April 20, 2018

Steptoe and Son - The Forum - Review

Steptoe and Son
The Forum, Northallerton
19th April 2018

This has been something of a week for iconic shows. The latest being a stage show of Steptoe and Son from Hambledon Productions. This show is coming to the end of its year long tour this week, and if you didn't take advantage of it while it was in your neck of the woods then you have missed a treat! I caught it at The Forum in Northallerton.

Even before curtains up, you are transported back in time as Ron Grainer's unmistakeable "Old Ned" theme tune issues from the speakers. As the curtains open they reveal a front room, complete with cuckoo clock and skeleton (I forget, did that skeleton have a name?)

This stage production recreates a sample of episodes from the TV series. Each one is excruciatingly funny, from Harold's ball room dancing to Albert eating pickled onions in the bath tub. The actors Jeremy Smith (Albert) and John Hewer (Harold) capture the essence of the two characters - their mannerisms and speech, and especially Harold's laugh - perfectly. The interaction between the two is perfect - both the dialogue and the physical humour is spot on. The affection that the production team feel for the originals is clear throughout the performance.

This production is very funny and stays true to the spirit of the original TV show. It is a fitting tribute to both the writers, Galton and Simpson, and the actors Wilfred Bramble and Harry H. Corbett.

You have a last chance to see it at The Customs House in South Shields this weekend and I would highly recommend you make the trip! I guarantee you will come away humming the theme tune and muttering "You dirty old man...!"

Denise Sparrowhawk

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