Friday, 31 July 2009

NOTES: Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall

(Been crazy busy this week between going to the theatre, going out with friends, and working on some original writing projects so I fell waaaaaaay behind in getting reviews up. This and the follow-up piece are as much reminders that I saw the things as actual reviews.)

Long time favourite of the British comedy and radio scene, much has been made of Spike Milligan’s experiences in the Second World War. From his delayed entry to his role as the battery’s joker to his ultimate discharge after suffering PTSD upon failing a suicide run, the play is an inventive, energetic adaptation of Milligan’s memoirs that’s well acted, well sung (there’s actor-musos), and includes some clever design. The first act, despite being shorter, feels a few minutes too long (it needs to lose about 3-4 minutes) though it lets out just at the point where “feeling long” turns into “actually going to check my watch.”

In other words, there’s actually something decent on at the Hampstead. Not that it’s too surprising when you see that it’s actually a production by the Bristol Old Vic making an extended stop before going out on tour. Do see it, the tickets are reasonably priced and you can get a nice coffee beforehand.

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