Hit comedy at Cirencester’s Barn

THE adventurous Barn Theatre at Cirencester has a laugh-a-minute television favourite for its summer show, running to 17th August. With audience favourite Sam Denia in the leading role, the little theatre has a world premier revival of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, the show that made a huge star of Michael Crawford.

Before Mr Bean, there was Frank Spencer (played at the Barn by Sam Denia). Loveable and accident-prone, he fails to navigate even the easiest of daily tasks with hilariously calamitous consequences, to the endless despair of his loving wife, Betty (Laura-Anna Mead).

During what is often regarded as the golden era of British TV comedy in the 1970s, the show dominated our television screens and became one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. It regularly garnered 25 million viewers and was broadcast in 60 countries.

Sam Denia, who has previously appeared at the Barn in Murder for Two and Treasure Island, returns to take on the role accident-prone Frank Spencer, and Joseph O’Malley returns as director, having previously directed successful Barn shows The Hound of the Baskerville, The 39 Steps, Ben Hur and Around the World in 80 Days.

The Barn is a tiny theatre, but it punches well above its weight in both programme and staging. This latest show is a real challenge for the crew, with collapsing stairs, exploding cookers, pictures falling off the walls and stunts galore.

• And looking ahead, there will be plenty of excited anticipation to see the set design for this year’s Christmas show, The Three Musketeers, running from 25th November to 4th January 2025 – the show will mark the professional theatre set design debut for the interior design legend and television star Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.