Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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The Hancock Festival

So, who here knew that Galton and Simpson were still alive? because until last night, I'd have guessed not. But I am getting ahead of myself.

I applied for and got tickets to a recording of The Missing Hancocks, episodes of Hancock's Half Hour whose original recordings no longer exist and which have not been heard since the mid-1950s. I asked fellow radio comedy lover klepsydra if she'd like to be my plus one, and she accepted with delight.

The evening was introduced by Neil Pearson, actor, rare book dealer and now radio producer ("You wear your own clothes, eat buns, and tell people what to do. Apparently I'm a natural"). He filled us in on the events leading to the production of the series, briefed us on names from popular culture we would have found hilarious in 1954, then asked Galton and Simpson, who had been hiding in plain sight among the audience, to stand up. This they did, a little shakily, to wild applause.

What followed was a script, The Hancock Festival, we were guaranteed not to have heard unless we were in and listening to the radio around half past nine in the evening on Tuesday, November 30th, 1954. I won't spoil it, but do listen out later in the year. The cast was very good, especially the chap who doubled up as Aussie Bill and the BBC Light Programme announcer; the Sid James substitute also did the laugh rather well.

As I said to Kleps while we drank coffee in the Regent Street Starbucks, watching the world go by and looking forward to our evening of free entertainment: this is the sort of thing I dreamed of when I moved to London.
Tags: radio

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