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Chaos is assured as Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em relaunches in Bromley

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 January 2020

Frank and Betty in a scene from last year's show. Picture: Scott Rylander

Frank and Betty in a scene from last year's show. Picture: Scott Rylander

Copyright © Scott Rylander 2018

It was a staple of the 70s and was warmly welcomed into millions of homes by people with a lot fewer channels to choose from.

Joe as Frank with wife Betty in last year's show which is launching this year at Bromley. Picture: Scott RylanderJoe as Frank with wife Betty in last year's show which is launching this year at Bromley. Picture: Scott Rylander

It gave us clichés like "oooh, Betty" and thrilled us with exactly what can be done with roller skates away from Venice Beach, California.

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em was the birthplace of Michael Crawford's illustrious career.

But like many of these shows from the 70s, they were of their time and don't always translate well in the 21st century.

So with plenty of courage, a stage show of the same name is coming to Bromley, and is bound to prompt plenty of men of a certain age to turn up just to check out Betty, once played by the gorgeous Michele Dotrice.

It runs at The Churchill between February 26 and 29, and Kent lad Joe Pasquale once again takes on the iconic Frank Spencer role.

To be fair, this show played to sell out houses last year, so there is no reason it won't do it again.

The loveable but accident-prone Frank has his madcap antics tempered by the efforts of dedicated wife Betty, played by Sarah Earnshaw.

Susie Blake is his disapproving mother-in-law, Mrs Fisher.

Additional casting includes Moray Treadwell as Mr Luscombe/Mr Worthington, David Shaw-Parker as Father O'Hara and Ben Watson as Desmond/Constable. Also in the cast are Peter F Gardiner and Jayne Ashley.

So, to the story line. Betty has exciting news for Frank, but he's preoccupied by possible newfound fame as a magician. With guests arriving for dinner and crossed wires all round, priceless misunderstandings are on the menu.

Joe Pasquale said: "After 30 years in showbusiness, this has been the role of a lifetime for me, so to be bringing it back again, this time to a wider audience, is a dream come true. Alongside Sarah Earnshaw's brilliant Betty, the Spencers are hitting the road again, bigger and better than ever before - it's going to be a disaster."

Writer and director of the stage adaptation, Guy Unsworth, added: "We never imagined how much love there would be for this new story of Frank and Betty, both from critics and audiences alike. I'm so pleased that

these incredible cast members are returning, led of course by the irreplaceable Joe Pasquale, who is unmissable as Frank."

Joe went on: "This is proper family comedy that is set in the 70s and is so funny that you will laugh solidly for two hours."

Crawford was famous for his Spencer stunts, and Joe is not shying away.

He said: "I'm doing it all - hanging by my ankles, chicken chasing and all sorts. If it's not dangerous or life threatening I'm not interested anymore.

"I am not imitating Michael Crawford. That would be an insult to Michael. I will be projecting my own personality on to the role.

"When we did the final workshop we had an invited audience. All the younger people didn't know the show or have a frame of reference with Michael, but they laughed their socks off. Even the older people who remember the original forgot Michael doing it in within five minutes - the script is so good.

"Touring in Some Mothers will be a lot easier than my stand-up show, when a tour is usually 40 one-nighters. A week in one place will be like a holiday.

"My philosophy for life is feel the fear and do it anyway. You're a long time dead; you might as well live while you can."

Director Guy is a fan of the original TV series which ran for 23 episodes.

He said: "I saw re-runs and I love it; the slapstick, the situations and the character of Frank, who is one of the great British underdogs. We sort of want him to fail because it is funny when he does, but we root for him to succeed too."

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