Radio Active, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
So Comedy
Angus Deayton, Helen Atkinson Wood, Michael Fenton Stevens, Philip Pope
Running time

The award winning BBC Radio 4 series may have gone to bed in the 80s but it has risen thirty years on as fresh as a daisy.

On stage are three microphones and four comedy pros and together they present a live ‘radio’ sketch show, true to the original 1980s Radio Active. This includes interviews, music, and a new dramatization of a Dickens novel, all executed with perfect comedic timing. Some of their old scripts are dusted off and brought out again to their audience’s great delight. This is everything we love about Radio 4 lovingly deconstructed.

It is refreshing for a modern audience to see comedy that isn’t trying too hard. There is something wonderful about revisiting something classic and the class of it doesn’t age. This performance glows with quality, right from the deliberate mishaps to the deadpan expressions with which some jokes are delivered. It is clear that these four know exactly what they’re doing.

Their relationship with a laughing audience is long standing and easy, and sharing that is effortless and delightful.
Although it seems to appeal to an older audience, whether because of the performers or the nature of the style of the show, it is very inclusive humour, and achingly funny.

Radio Active is a wonderful example of clever comedy writing, and wit will never age. It is classic and clever and charming; no frills, no fireworks, just simple excellence.

Times: 4.20pm, 3rd-28th August
Tickets: £12-£15 (£11.50-£13.50)