The smash-hit TV sitcom Porridge is being brought to the stage for the very first time with popular TV and stage actor Shaun Williamson as the cheeky, loveable rogue, Norman Stanley Fletcher. Rising new talent Daniel West is his naive young cellmate Godber.
Penned by the original writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, this hilarious new stage adaptation features all your favourite characters from the original TV series. Fletcher is an old-hand at 'doing time' and we meet him serving a five-year stretch at HMP Slade for breaking and entering.
Fletcher expects to enjoy a single cell for his term, but he's forced to share with a first-time offender - a young Brummie called Lennie Godber, whom he reluctantly takes under his wing. We follow the hilarious antics of these charming characters while they struggle with rigged boxing matches and the occasional attempted breakout. So prepare for laughs-a-plenty as Fletch, Godber and the other inmates of Slade Prison take on the system under the nose of the ever suspicious Mr Mackay.
Well-known for his role as Barry Evans in EastEnders (1994-2003), Shaun Williamson is a versatile actor, singer, TV personality and presenter and in more recent years has appeared playing a comically, unemployable version of himself in Ricky Gervais’ BBC sitcom Extras as well as in guest appearances on Holby, Fame Academy for Comic Relief, Bremner, Bird & Fortune and The Secret Policeman’s Ball. His stage credits include DJ Monty in the West End production of Saturday Night Fever (a role he revived on a nationwide tour), Road to Nirvana in London and as the narrator in The Rocky Horror Show.
Of his latest lead role as the iconic Fletcher, Shaun says: “I am both terrified and excited - this part sums up the reason why I got into acting.”
Porridge the TV sitcom was broadcast on BBC from 1974 to 1979 and starred the legendary Ronnie Barker as Fletcher and Richard Beckinsale as his young cellmate Lennie Godber. It ran for three series, produced two Christmas specials and a feature film, and is now considered as one of the all time classic greats of television comedy.
Porridge will be presented on tour by Calibre Productions, who boast a successful repertoire of acclaimed stage adaptations including Dad’s Army – The Lost Episodes and ‘Allo ‘Allo. Producer Ed O’Driscoll says: “Working with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais is both exciting and a privilege. I’m delighted they have agreed to be so involved with our production and must say that their enthusiasm is contagious. It obviously reflects their tremendous love for the series.”
Porridge starring Shaun Williamson (EastEnders, Extras) as Fletcher is at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre from Monday 5th October to Saturday 10th October. -- www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk