Roy Smiles' celebration of the 'Beyond the Fringe' team takes a funny and affectionate look at how four young men from Oxbridge changed the face of British comedy. Starring Matt Addis as Alan Bennett, Rory Kinnear as Peter Cook, Jonathan Aris as Jonathan Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dudley Moore. A CPL production for BBC Radio 4.
"Beyond the Fringe in brief"
Roy Smiles' play about Spike Milligan's last days with the Goons and his complex and often fractious relationship with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. During the 1950s, 'The Goon Show' had England laughing week after week, greatly influencing Monty Python and the Beatles, among others - and paved the way for sketch comedy as we know it today.
It's often assumed that it was Dad's Army that made John Le Mesurier and Arthur Lowe well known. This is not so. Arthur Lowe had come to national attention, after a long apprenticeship in theatre, as the uptight church warden Mr Swindley in Coronation Street. John had made many films and found success as the diffident Colonel in the popular sitcom George And The Dragon. But it was Dad's Army, late in their lives, that brought them fame, fortune, and the oddest of friendships.
The story of Graham Chapman's history with the Monty Python team; how he met and started writing with John Cleese, his rise through the ranks writing The Frost Report, the glory, glory years with the Pythons and his struggle to overcome his considerable drinking demons. And how the collective kindness of Messrs Cleese, Jones, Idle, Palin and Gilliam saved him from oblivion and gave him the lead in the two funniest British films of all time: Monty Python and The Holy Grail and Monty Python's Life of Brian.
"A Most Delightful & Unexpected Biography!"