By Ellen Hill
Silliness, loads of gags and the odd bottom joke – everything you love about The Goon Show will be on the menu when The Goon Show LIVE! takes over The Paragon Restaurant, Katoomba, throughout winter.
Offered as a five-course Yulefest dinner show with all the trimmings at the historic venue, this live recreation of The Goon Show will include the well known and loved characters brought to life by Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe in the 1950s.
Entertainment Blue Mountains producer and director Bryan Cutts, who bought the rights to the show, said The Goon Show LIVE! would be a respectful rendition of the original, although some of the characters would not appear, others would be melded and others added, and the string orchestra would be replaced with a crooner.
“The show will reasonably faithfully approximate what happened in the studio with some obvious changes, but we certainly are respectful of the original work – it was magic.’’
However, the surreal storylines, absurd logic, puns, catchphrases and hilarious sound effects would remain faithful to the spirit of the original, which ridiculed the pomposity of those in authority and laughed at the stupidity of mankind through characters such as Ned Seagoon, Eccles, Bluebottle, Major Bloodnok, Minnie Bannister, Henry Crun, Grytpype-Thynne and Moriarty.
Cutts said the show, widely acclaimed as being ahead of its time and credited with inspiring other comedic cults such as Monty Python and The Goodies, would be a step back in time for those who remembered and a wonderful discovery for those new to the best of British comedy.
Mainly created and written by Spike Milligan and initially titled Crazy People, The Goon Show was produced and aired by the BBC between 1951 and 1960. Since then, it has regularly been broadcast around the world including in Australia.
The Goon Show LIVE! will include three original Christmas episodes first broadcast on BBC radio between 1955 and 1959.
Cutts said his show would rely on the talents of the actors standing at microphones in front of a black backdrop as a hint to the BBC studio location used to record the original Milligan, Sellers and Secombe team.
Cutts said audiences could expect to be served a super fast paced evening of side-splitting hilarity: “If we get the pace right, the audience won’t have time to draw a breath before the next laugh.’’
An avid Monty Python fan raised on re-runs of Dad’s Army and It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Cutts said he was attracted to the irreverence of British comedy.
“The British are quite happy to be grotty and tell bottom jokes. The reason why it works so well for the Brits is because they are renowned for their stiff upper lip and that’s what’s hilarious.
Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Randall Walker said The Goon Show LIVE! promised to be an outstanding addition to Blue Mountains nightlife: “I congratulate Bryan Cutts for securing the rights to this show.
“What a great opportunity to experience some world-class talent, explore a stunning historic venue and stay overnight in one of Australia’s first tourist destinations.’’
The Goon Show LIVE! will play The Paragon, Katoomba St, Katoomba, from June 29 to August 3, 2013. Tickets: $115 pp, group bookings available and include one free ticket for every group of eight or more. Details, bookings and accommodation packages: www.thegoonshow.com.au or Bryan Cutts 0418 241 218.