Theatre review: How good are The Goodies?

The Goodies Still Rule OK!
National Tour 2007
Buxton Opera House


It’s hard to believe that a whole generation has missed out on the Anything, Anywhere, Anytime trio, writes Chris Hadley.

It’s even harder to believe that Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor must be close to collecting their bus passes. More disconcerting is the fact that audiences watching their national tour seem to be largely in the 45-plus age bracket.

The content of the show is based on a series of questions from (imaginary?) fans. While Garden and Brooke-Taylor are on stage, Oddie’s contribution is in absentia, but superbly choreographed to make it look like it’s a live link to the dialogue.

Excerpts from their TV series are included, and the audience roared at clips such as Timita, with Marge and Tina (an Evita spoof), Scout Camp, Eckythump, Kitten Kong, and The Movies. Garden’s sketch on recommending pets such as the sabre-toothed mongoose had everyone howling with laughter.

They made reference to the lack of televised repeats because of their non-political correctness and, looking back, this seems short-sighted of the BBC.

However, despite the laughs (and there were a lot of them) the show was disappointing on a number of fronts. It was all over by 9pm – and with no interval. I felt somewhat short-changed. It should have (and could have) lasted much longer. Also, there was, inevitably, something missing from not all three being there together on stage.

The format of the show covered their careers up to their coming together as The Goodies. It seemed to be more of a sports personality’s testimonial rather than a celebration of the work of The Goodies per se.

There had been a frisson of anticipation that there would be some new material from them. But, regrettably, there wasn’t. While it would be immensely difficult to recreate their antics on stage, their collective talent could have come up with something to whet the appetite of the audience about new and great things to come.

Do The Goodies still rule OK? Sadly not.

Chris Hadley is a practitioner-manager, Derby Council

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