The Goon Show Review

Majestic Theatre, Darlington – 25 October 2018


The Apollo Theatre Company brought their absolutely hilarious Goon Show to the Majestic Theatre in Darlington.  With over 250 episode’s, many written by Spike Milligan, who would have been 100 years old this year.

Fans of the show need not worry about the transfer of The Goons to the stage. The scripts have not been adapted, but are performed exactly as Spike wrote them, even if some of the references are not understood by modern audiences!  A very simple but effective set shows behind the scenes of the BBC radio broadcasting’s that ran from 1951 to 1960 right down to the ON AIR sign. Julian Howard McDowell (Peter Sellers), Colin Elmer (Spike Milligan), Clive Greenwood (Harry Secombe) and their announcer Tom Capper (Wallace Greenslade) bring to life original scripts from the radio show in the style of The Goons and much hilarity ensues

Each of the episodes served up the legendary, surreal characters that made The Goon Show such a success, with Sellers providing the voice for Major Dennis Bloodnok, Henry Crun, and the still hilarious Bluebottle, among others, Secombe mainly delivering the voice of Ned Seagoon, and Milligan giving us the likes of Eccles, Count Jim Moriarty and Minnie Bannister. Other diverse characters ranged from working-class Cockney, Willium Cobblers, to Little Jim, voiced by Milligan, who had only one line – the famous “He’s fallen in the water”. The line-up, who combined on an encore of the very silly ‘Ying Tong Song’, was completed by Tom Capper as BBC announcer Wallace Greenslade and Rachel Davies and Anthony Coote, aka Java Jive, who provided the music and sound effects.

The rest of the evening proceeds exactly as dictated by Spike Milligan’s original scripts. Many of the audience seemed to be familiar with these and laughed enthusiastically in all the right places. The three performers playing The Goons did a brilliant job

This is a joyous laugh out loud comedy, heralding back to a much more innocent time.  You’ll go home with a smile on your face and the Ying Tong song stuck in your head. Well worth a visit for a very funny night out