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Birmingham Comedy Festival presents The Goon Show

Cast (above, left to right):

PHIL HEMMING as Announcer/ Valentine Dyall.
Actor Phil returns as The Announcer (Wallace Greenslade) and Valentine Dyall. Phil previously appeared in our 2014 Goon Show production which featured the episodes The Canal and The Phantom Head Shaver (of Brighton). His productions for Fred include The Dark Horse and Pack.

MARK EARBY as Spike Milligan.
Originally from Hull, Mark studied at The Birmingham School of Speech and Drama (now Birmingham School of Acting). A versatile character actor, appearing in productions from Shakespeare to contemporary drama, notably he played Charlie Conlon - and seven other separate characters - in the Olivier award winning comedy Stones In His Pockets. Mark steps into the roles created by Milligan, including the idiotic Eccles and unscrupulous Count Jim Moriarty.

RICHARD USHER as Peter Sellers.
Richard is an experienced voice-over artist, actor, writer, podcaster and sound designer and has worked for clients across the media, including the BBC. In addition to training actors in the dark arts of radio, he also hosts The Berkshire Business Podcast. Richard’s professional stage work includes: Romeo and Juliet (2005); It’s Black and White Champagne Cabaret (2014); The Empire Builders (2016, sound design); and our 2014 Goon Show presentation of The Canal and The Phantom Head Shaver (of Brighton).

STEPHAN BESSANT as Harry Secombe.
Actor and writer Stephan finds his inner hero for the role of Neddie Seagoon - 'Needle nardle noo!'. Stephan's CV includes feature film Vanguard and a revival of The Ghost Train.

The Goon Show Band:

JANE ALLIN is a full time woodwind and piano teacher who plays in a variety of groups. She was the resident jazz pianist at the Hyatt Hotel and enjoys playing at functions and for pleasure.

NICK WILTSHIRE is a pianist and double bass player, recently retired from full-time music teaching. He lives by the Long Mynd, in Shropshire, where he and his wife are building an off-grid campsite specially adapted for green musicians.

RALPH ALLIN has been described by one leading critic as “Nigel Kennedy, Stephane Grappelli, and Victor Borge, rolled into one”. An engaging, musically satisfying and uniquely entertaining violinst, he's toured with Van Morrison, and performed with Jools Holland and Andre Previn. A former Jazz Musician of the Year, he's entertained Prince Charles at his home, Highgrove, and has performed at Ronnie Scotts.

SIMON CLARK is a Midlands-based small group and big band jazz drummer. He lives with his partner Maria near Newport, Shropshire.

DAVE FREAK (Producer) has worked with a variety of arts organisations and festivals including Birmingham Comedy Festival, THSH, Rideout, Stan's Cafe, Turning Point West Midlands, The Glee, Warwick Arts Centre, Towersey Festival and Moseley Folk Festival. In 2014, he realised a long-held ambition to bring The Goon Show to the stage for a sell-out run as part of Birmingham Comedy Festival.

ROBERT F BALL (Director) is the Artistic Director of Fred Theatre. He has completed an M.A. in Shakespeare and Theatre at the Shakespeare Institute, and an M.Phil. in directing and dramaturgy at the University of Birmingham. Robert has been directing for some 10 years for a variety of companies, tackling plays as diverse as Ravenhill’s Shopping and F***ing and Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.

BIRMINGHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL. The annual festival has been highlighting great comedy in Britain’s second city since 2001. Previous festivals read like an A-Z of comedy with appearances from such names as Lenny Henry, Jimmy Carr, Peter Kay, Ken Dodd, Stewart Lee, Jack Whitehall, Alan Carr and more. The festival’s long-held desire to revive The Goon Show was realised in 2014 with a sell-out run of shows – believed to be the first ever officially sanctioned staged public performances of The Goons since their demise.

FRED THEATRE. Established in 2012, Fred’s mission is summed up as: Classic drama, contemporary theatre. The company looks for new ways to re-tell familiar stories, and to bring the very best in new writing to the stage. Recent productions include the football-themed One Year Off, the National Lottery-inspired Winners, and a presentation of rarely performed WW1 plays under the title Friend Or Foe? Fred’s production of Macbeth is touring schools and theatres during early 2017.

© Copyright - Birmingham Comedy Festival 2017.