Connect with us

News

REVIEW: Drop the Dead Donkey ‘just as devious, just as cynical is hysterical’

Drop The Dead Donkey is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, March 2

Published

on

When a TV station is called Truth News, you have to be suspicious. If you thought Drop the Dead Donkey, was funny in the 1990s – on stage now it’s hysterical.

Writers Andy Hamilton (who was in the audience for the first night at Cambridge Arts Theatre) and Guy Jenkin must be adding to the script daily during the tour. There were jokes about this week’s news.

Westminster has kindly provided the script.

The original cast of this this satire on a television newsroom are back.

Drop The Dead Donkey is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, March 2. Then touring.

Drop The Dead Donkey is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, March 2. Then touring.

They are older but just as devious, just as cynical – and still with immaculate comic timing. Now their news stories are chosen by an algorithm.

No one believes the news any more, says the amoral and pragmatic boss Gus (Robert Duncan) so they might as well not believe stuff that isn’t actually true.

The play opens with the earnest George (Jeff Rawle) wrestling with a coffee machine that works on voice recognition – but seems to be hard of hearing. Nothing you say to it stops it spluttering.

Meanwhile, he is joined on the stage one by one by his former workmates, each one puzzled to have been recruited after all these years.

The scheming Gus has gathered them together his old colleagues from Globelink News.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article
Drop The Dead Donkey is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, March 2. Then touring.

Drop The Dead Donkey is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, March 2. Then touring.

He’s heading a brand-new television station that he says will be “hyper NOW.” – “Disruptive, dynamic and diverse – full of gender fluids”. Everyone on the team, he announces triumphantly, has “something wrong with them.”

This is a lovely ensemble cast with wonderfully slick delivery (particularly Neil Pearson who has a lot of the best lines) playing characters who could not possibly work together without explosions.

From the original cast we also have Susannah Doyle as Joy, now promoted to Human Resources and out for revenge on the people once above her, Ingrid Lacey as Helen (the sane one) Neil Pearson as Dave, known for gambling, drinking, and having affairs with married women.

Victoria Wicks returns as Sally Smedley (the self-obsessed newsreader). Stephen Tompkinson is back as Damien, the reporter who always takes a child’s teddy bear and a tiny, bloodstained shoe to place on the rubble when reporting from disaster sites.

Drop The Dead Donkey is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, March 2. Then touring.

Drop The Dead Donkey is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, March 2. Then touring.

They are joined by Julia Hills as Mairead, an American investigative reporter keen on exposing scandals and Kerena Jagpal as the weather forecaster who is on unpaid work experience –as are all the backroom and technical staff.

At the end, there is just one moment of seriousness, tributes on a screen to Henry Davenport and Haydn Gwynne, two fine actors in the original cast who are no longer with us.

The rest is laughter. Kill for a ticket – they would.

Drop The Dead Donkey is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, March 2. Then touring.

 

Facebook

Read More

Police uncovered thousands of pounds worth of drugs and cash after they carried out a warrant at Jack Defraine’s former home in Sparrow Road, Hampton Vale Police uncovered thousands of pounds worth of drugs and cash after they carried out a warrant at Jack Defraine’s former home in Sparrow Road, Hampton Vale
Crime2 hours ago

£20k haul of cash and drugs found in drug dealer’s Peterborough home

Jack Defraine appeared at Cambridge Crown Court today (Friday)

Cllr Ross Trent (above) said he had been encouraged to put himself forward to join Christine Whelan and Christine Colbert as part of the Lib Dem district council team. Cllr Ross Trent (above) said he had been encouraged to put himself forward to join Christine Whelan and Christine Colbert as part of the Lib Dem district council team.
News8 hours ago

Liberal Democrats win by elections in Ely for city and district councils

The by election was caused by the resignation of Rob Pitt as both city and district councillor

The row broke after John Holdich gave an interview to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in which he revealed he had left the Conservative Party and had done so in 2022 The row broke after John Holdich gave an interview to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in which he revealed he had left the Conservative Party and had done so in 2022
News1 day ago

Wayne Fitzgerald’s bruising attack on John Holdich for ‘backing these traitors but not unexpected knowing the man he is’

'Difficult decisions had to be made which John Holdich had dodged for years'

LPUK (Little People UK) Convention 2018, Marriott hotel, Leicester Saturday 25 August 2018. Picture by Terry Harris. LPUK (Little People UK) Convention 2018, Marriott hotel, Leicester Saturday 25 August 2018. Picture by Terry Harris.
News1 day ago

Cambridgeshire Star Wars actor Warwick Davis mourns death of beloved wife Samantha

In 2018 Samantha received the Points of Light award from Prime Minister Theresa May

Two potential victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded as a cannabis factory worth more than £1.5million was seized in Graveley. Two potential victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded as a cannabis factory worth more than £1.5million was seized in Graveley.
News1 day ago

Modern slavery victims found locked inside Cambridgeshire farm during £1.5m cannabis factory raid

Police seized 1,845 cannabis plants from an outbuilding worth £1.5m

News1 day ago

Peterborough City Council slaps temporary tree preservation order on ‘devastated’ Gunthorpe site

The city council has set a deadline of May 15 for all representations.

Brian Johnson won a dispute with East Cambridgeshire District Council to use the study of the family home at Fordham Road, Soham to be used as a dog grooming parlour Brian Johnson won a dispute with East Cambridgeshire District Council to use the study of the family home at Fordham Road, Soham to be used as a dog grooming parlour
News2 days ago

Homeowner wins appeal against East Cambs Council to open dog grooming business

'The appeal is allowed, and planning permission is granted for a change of use'

Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the sea witch – is on at New Theatre, Peterborough, until Saturday April 20. It stars Shawna Hamic Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the sea witch – is on at New Theatre, Peterborough, until Saturday April 20. It stars Shawna Hamic
News2 days ago

REVIEW: ‘Diabolically outrageous high energy turbo charged queerness’

Shawna Hamic is Ursula the sea witch and is simply majestic

Teenage boy, 13, took this Audi from his home and crashed it into a garden wall in Crockfords Road, Newmarket, on Monday morning. Teenage boy, 13, took this Audi from his home and crashed it into a garden wall in Crockfords Road, Newmarket, on Monday morning.
News2 days ago

13-year-old boy ‘borrows’ family’s £35,000 Audi estate and crashes into wall

Teenager arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking

Darren Moore, 55, reported 14 rape or sexual assault allegations to police between June and November 2022. Darren Moore, 55, reported 14 rape or sexual assault allegations to police between June and November 2022.
News3 days ago

Victim falsely accused of rape by Ely man Darren Moore left ‘feeling suicidal’

Moore, of Douglas Court, Ely, was arrested for perverting the course of justice