Drop The Dead Donkey – The Reawakening!

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It’s been 30 years since the award-winning comedy burst onto our TV screens and now they are on stage for the first time.

The lights come up and the setting is a newsroom – it’s the first day of a brand new news channel called ‘Truth News’ and George (Jeff Rawle) is the first to arrive. It’s all a bit modern and while he is having trouble with the talking coffee machine Dave (Neil Pearson) walks in and is gobsmacked when he sees George.

Both are amazed to see each other and even more amazed to find out it is both their first days at this office.

Helen (Ingrid Lacey) walks in. Helen sees Dave. Dave sees Helen. Helen sees George. George sees Helen. They all exclaim expletives, at seeing each other and at it being their first day. What is the old  Globelink News team doing in the same room after 30 years? Apart from the money.

Gus (Robert Duncan) enters the room and explains they are all here to start a spanking new news channel and the rich owners what the team back together again to continue the excellent journalism. He brings back Joy (Susannah Doyle) who is now the HR Manager who hates people, Damien (Stephen Tompkinson) who is now in a wheelchair, and Sally Smedley (Victoria Wicks) who is trying to shake off her stint as a presenter of ‘Guess my Underwear’. Gus also introduces Rita (Kerena Jagpal), the weather person and the token non-white person for a box ticked, and Mairead (Julie Hills) who is an award-winning serious journalist, according to the trophy she carries around, who is bought in to add a level of credibility and professionalism to the channel.

The big story arc is that Truth News launches in TWO days and the team need to find the right editorial content for the channel using digital algorithms – a demand from the unknown rich owners. Of course it all goes terribly wrong as they nearly kill Sir Trevor MacDonald and insult David Attenborough, however considering the Pope has died this will surely be a distraction. 

This production continues the humour of the multi-award winning comedy show due to it being written by the same pair: Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, therefore it hits all the expectation points.

The puns, jokes, society pokes, jibes at the current issues, sarcastic quips, up to date social commentary, belittling political statements and mocking celebrities – it’s all in there and it’s all very funny. Lots of layers of amusement from belly laughs to giggles to shocked chuckles, it will certainly make you smile.

There are thoughtful nods items in the TV series and to those actors who have passed, and a reminder to us all that we need to hold onto the truth.

It was a great atmosphere in the theatre, not only to have so many great actors on stage, and each one got a cheer as they come on but also to see the team working together again. They clearly were reawakening the fun they had from 30 years ago.

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