on 18 May 2008
Old Harry's Game is a great radio comedy that is set in hell and follows the trials and tribulations of Satan played fantasically by the writer Andy Hamilton. For me it is the greatest radio comedy since the marvellous goon show. However, season 5 had seen a rare dip in form due primarily to the loss of one of the main characters the professor but season 6 gets back on track with the character of Edith played by Annette crosby. Edith fills the void left by the professor by doing what he used to do by standing up to the devil and questioning his actions. The difference with Edith though is she was mother in law of the long suffering Thomas which adds an edge to some of the humor. Her being a historian and made to write satans biography is a very good series arc which lets you hear a lot of Andy hamilton's humour on the bible and religion. The series is made up of 3 discs and runs for 3 hours. It is not essential that you listen to the rests of the series (u can't listen to all of the first 4 series as the BBC in their infinite wisdom only realeasd 3 episodes of each series.)as you can still enjoy the humour but I highly recommend that you also listen to the rest. You will not be sorry.
If you're reading this you probably don't need any introduction to Old Harry's Game. You know all about Andy Hamilton's excellent portrayal of the Devil, cynical and twisted with a voice like Anthony Newly. You know about Scumspawn, his most revolting and fawning demon, played by Robert Duncan. You know this is a wickedly funny comedy.
Series six sees a welcome new addition to the crew in the form of Annette Crosby as Edith, Professor of History, humanitarian and Nobel prize winner who, like so many, ends up in hell because she does not believe in Him with a capital H. Series five suffered a little from a lack of focus with the departure of James Grout's Prof, but this has been rectified here. In Edith, Satan once again has a sounding board and someone to show off to. And Hamilton has new themes to write around, which makes things seem nice and fresh.
The setting still allows Hamilton to sound off about his pet hates, and take large swipes at the banality of modern culture. The topical satire is as strong as ever, giving belly laugh after belly laugh. As always with Hamilton's work, the characters are as important as the satire, and again these are well developed and work off each other in such a way as to provide lots of laughs. It is this aspect that lifts these series and makes them very funny long after the topical jokes have lost some of their meaning.
Series 6 is six half hour episodes. Spread across 3 CDs, collected into a double size jewel case. There are limited liner notes.
It's great to see Old Harry back to the top of his game, let's hope there's more to come. Recommended to all those who love good satire and have a cynical view of the world.
Another superb series from Andy Hamilton. His writing is really fired up by the presence of Annette Crosbie as Edith, as he tries to investigate her possible murder as a pay off for her agreement to write his biography. Scumspawn makes it his mission to psychoanalyse and reform Thomas, who is finding redemption quite difficult when he has to share a dungeon with his ex mother-in-law- Edith. There's lots of Jeffrey Archer jokes and descriptions of Jane Austen's tattoos. A really amusing 3 hours entertainment.
on 10 May 2010
Yet again Andy Hamilton gives us more of his brilliantly observed comedy starring the Professor, Scumspawn and the odious Thomas. With visits from God, Edif Piaf, Elvis, a foul mouthed Jane Austen, permanently pregnant Popes and a whole host of other characters, The Devil (played by Andy H himself) reminds us in comic ways what a really self centred bunch we humans are.
Its not for the "can't-be-bothered-to-listen", video game generation, which is all the better for those looking for more than inane slapstick and cruel parody.
Miss it at your peril, you won't have laughed so much in ages.
on 10 July 2008
If you like Last of the Summer Wine or Allo Allo then you will hate this. It's well written and superbly performed and is so funny that I can't listen while on public transport for fear of laughing out loud and getting strange looks. Don't start here though, treat yourself to the first, sadly incomplete, series on CD and work through the entire collection. I promise you won't regret it as Andy Hamilton is, in my humble opinion, the finest comedy writer of recent years.
on 14 December 2013
Have bought all the series, they are clever and well written. So many so called comedies are about as funny as piles and have stock characters. Not the case with these. I listen to them in the car, and yes I'm that mad women laughing her head off in the car next to you