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Porridge

Published Thursday 10 September 2009 at 11:15 by Peta David

Written by the original authors of the hit TV series starring Ronnie Barker, Clement and Frenais have cleverly breathed new life into the script. Keeping close to the original characterisations, you won’t be disappointed if you were a fan of the series. Fletcher, played by Shaun Williamson (ex-EastEnder) brings his own measure of cockney charm and barefaced cheek into the mix, mercilessly winding up the prison officers - the stiff upper-lip Mr Mackay (Nicholas Lumley) and the bumbling Mr Barrowclough (John Conroy) - and always coming out on top.

Fletcher befriends the young Godber (Daniel West), his cell mate and a first-timer. He tries to keep him on the straight and narrow, teaching him how to work the system and get on inside. It’s not all punch ups and posturing though, Godber confides in Fletcher about how depressed and afraid prison makes him feel, and how it has led him to prayer. There are lighter moments, too, particularly at visiting time with the hilarious exchange of illegal contraband and the theft of Mr Mackay’s bicycle is also one to look out for. It makes for a pleasurable evening, like putting on a familiar pair of old slippers.

Production information

Belgrade, Coventry, September 7-12, then touring until January 16, 2010

Authors:
Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
Director:
Gavin McAlinden
Producer:
Ed O'Driscoll for Calibre Productions
Cast:
Shaun Williamson, Daniel West, Nicholas Lumley, John Conroy, Peter Alexander
Running time:
2hrs

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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