Hancock’s Half Hour brought back to life in new stage show

The first major tour of the classic radio comedy Hancock’s Half Hour heads to Brighton next month.

Hancock's Half Hour
Hancock's Half Hour

The show, which is presented by Apollo Theatre Company, will be at the Theatre Royal on Thursday, February 7 (7.30pm).

It is based on the popular BBC series that ran from 1954 to 1961 and starred comedy greats like Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Bill Kerr, Andrée Melly, Moira Lister, Sid James and, of course, Tony Hancock.

“In 1954, Tony Hancock burst onto the airwaves of the BBC Light Programme with a comedy show unlike anything the British public had heard before,” said a spokesperson.

Kenneth Williams

The then 30-year-old comedian appeared playing a less successful version of himself and, in doing so, helped shape ‘the sitcom’ as a genre.

The programme was also written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, who later created the classic comedy Steptoe and Son.

Producer and director Tim Astley said: “Hancock’s Half Hour was one of the greatest comedy shows of all time and it is truly an honour to be able to bring it to the stage. We are so used to sitcoms as a part of the comedy landscape these days that it is hard to imagine a time without them and to appreciate just how ground-breaking the show was when it came along in 1954. Tony Hancock’s genius ‘put upon’ persona had such an influence on so many great comedy characters from Basil Fawlty to David Brent and it cannot be overestimated quite how much he helped shape comedy as we know it today.

“Being a radio comedy show, these characters and their world largely exist in people’s imaginations and this show, which recreates the BBC recording studio of the 1950s, gives audiences a chance to see them brought to life like never before and will create a unique experience for fans both old and new.”

Hattie Jacques

The show stars Dead Ringers impressionist James Hurn as Tony Hancock and Colin Elmer as Kenneth Williams.

Apollo Theatre Company recently produced UK tours of classic radio comedies The Goon Show and Round the Horne.

Tickets cost £12-£30.90. Call 0844 871 7650.

Mandy Muden brings magic and hilarity to Chequer Mead, East Grinstead. Click here to read more.