Written for www.fourthwallmagazine.co.uk
Remember an age when gay used to mean happy? When clear cut diction was the order of the day; Gals used to wear fishnet stockings but skirts to the knee and Gents, well they smoked pipes and wore black tie. The jolly chaps and chapesses at The Fitzrovia Radio Hour want to take you back there, and they’re doing a pretty spiffing job. Close your eyes and let their RP tones carry you away across the airways, in a jocular evening’s entertainment that gently tickles the funny bone.
Don’t keep them closed for too long though because you’ll miss a lot of consummate stage play. This is a company who understands the importance of a good ‘wink wink’, ‘nudge nudge’ moment. Like a tongue in cheek version of Katie Mitchell’s avant-garde The Waves, it is often the incongruity between what you hear and what you see that entertains most.
Snappily dressed, our gang potter around in regal looking slippers like well trained orchestra musicians, each performing his or her task admirably. We are told the dramatic tale of the Undead Queen of Evil! (WAH HA HA!), the beautifully dyspeptic He Should Have Known His Place and the rather dashing adventure Captain Fasthand and the Rooty Gong. All the while interspersed with messages from our sponsor, Rathbone’s Chemical Cures; pills that would surely get Class A status in our sadly more cynical times.
The cast do a mean line in spot on vocal impressions of crying babies, debauched party goers and, perhaps most impressively, people from Leeds. But the style never fluctuates and so begins to feel a little thin. This is a terribly cheerful way to wile the night away, just don’t expect more than a titter and a grin.
Runs until 5th February