3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
PERMISSION TO REVIEW, SIR!,
This review is from: Dad's Army (Audio CD)
Your reviewer was lucky enough to see this show at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London with his parents but I have to admit I recall almost nothing of the occasion. It was a long time ago and I was a youthful teen at the time. Therefore I was delighted to come across this original cast recording on Amazon.
This recording was made live at The Forum Theatre, Billingham where I assume the show started before moving to the West End. The audience reaction and applause brings out the best in the cast and provide the right atmosphere for listeners.
Sadly the complete show wasn't recorded but much survives on this CD. I can't identify the "Siegfried Line/We'll Meet Again" from the Shaftesbury Theatre programme and I suspect it was dropped before the production moved to London or it may be item "Tin Pan Alley Goes To War" in the second act. In Act 1, Scene 7 was "Lords of the Air" and then Scene 8, the final one before the interval, is given as "Choir Practice", in other words the "Floral Dance". This is a highlight of the CD and a good lengthy and genuinely funny sketch.
The show itself was quite an odd mixture - perhaps trying to recreate an old-time variety show. There are the moments of classic Dad's Army comedy, but then the cast have the chance to sing, or put across, songs of the period. Then the section entitled "Radio Personalities Of 1940" give key members of the cast the chance to impersonate stars of the era using their material. The Robb Wilton sketch is a classic of British comedy and Arthur Lowe does a lovely job of it. Bill Pertwee brings Max Miller and his cheeky brand of humour back to life. The programme also shows a take off of The Andrews Sisters, but that has not been included here. I was disappointed with "Home Town" as it drags on a bit and ends up in an unwelcome cacophony, not helped by the orchestra. By this stage I feel that much would have been gained by physically restraining the drummer. The orchestrations and musical performance haven't dated as well and it is a pity that the musical director hadn't adopted a more authentic 1940s style instead of something which may have been acceptable in the 1970s.
Nevertheless this is a highly entertaining CD and a must for anyone who treasures Dad's Army. We will never see there like again!