Steptoe and Son on the Playhouse 6th-10th November 2012
I had very fond memories of watching the old classic Steptoe and Son programmes and was looking forward to hearing the old familiar lines ‘you dirty old man’ and ‘Haroldddd’ from the stage of the Playhouse.
Emma Rice, director and adaptor of the play, mixed four of Galton and Simpson’s genius scripts on a brilliant stage set-up. She also included a woman in her adaptation. Anyone aware of Steptoe and Son also knows that women were always talked about but never seen in the series. A versatile Kirsty Woodward added a beautiful extra to the set until the last episode when she finally played the part of a tug-of-war love interest.
Although the set was brilliant and set the scene, when the actors Dean Noble as Harold and Mike Shepherd as Albert started talking, it was somewhat of a shock to hear them talking in their ‘ooh arhh’ cornish accent and to believe in them as their original characters. Was it me!!
Saying that, although Harold looked the scruffy old man and his dad scubbed up well really, both actors mastered their roles displaying the relationships when frustrated, happy, caring and angry, potraying so well their need to get away from each other but just could not leave their relationship. The woman in the background was not really needed, it would always be about them.
I really enjoyed the vitality and energy of their performances, but for me it didn’t recapture those 60’s TV programmes on my black and white telly. Maybe I’m getting old.
‘It is not like them good old Happy Days!’