Alan Par­tridge is back with a pleaser

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

THE long-awaited Alan Par­tridge movie Al­pha Papa has landed. And it’s text­book Par­tridge. Alan’s ra­dio sta­tion, North Nor­folk Dig­i­tal, has been taken over by a big me­dia com­pany and re­named Shape. The busi­ness plan for reshaping the com­pany in­volves sack­ing one of the older DJs. Alan saves his job, but when late-night DJ Pat Far­rell is laid off in­stead, he takes the news badly and takes the sta­tion hostage at gun­point. With Pat re­fus­ing to talk to any­one but Alan, Nor­wich’s most fa­mous TV and ra­dio pre­sen­ter is called in by po­lice to act as a ne­go­tia­tor, and ev­ery­one’s safety is in his hands. Much-loved char­ac­ters from the hit sit­com I’m Alan Par­tridge, in­clud­ing se­cu­rity guard Michael (Si­mon Greenall) and PA Lynn (Felicity Mon­tagu), are by the DJ’s side to help him through the chaos. Lynn finds her own op­por­tu­nity to shine as the events of the siege un­fold. It’s penned by star Steve Coogan (pic­tured), Ar­mando Ianucci and brothers Neil and Rob Gib­bons, the team be­hind Par­tridge TV se­ries Mid Morn­ing Mat­ters. All the clas­sic gags are there, pro­vid­ing satire amid the ac­tion heist genre. Be­ing on the big screen hasn’t changed Alan – he’s as em­bar­rass­ing and hi­lar­i­ous as ever as he tries to ma­nip­u­late the sit­u­a­tion to boost his ca­reer and seize his chance to re­turn to the spot­light. Al­pha Papa is so packed with sur­prises for the dis­cern­ing Par­tridge fan, that to in­clude spoil­ers would be churl­ish. While there is ac­tion, drama and even ro­mance, Al­pha Papa hasn’t put style over sub­stance, or fallen into the trap of us­ing mas­sive spe­cial ef­fects and stunts that get in the way of what is pure com­edy gold. Par­tridge fans rest as­sured, this film is ‘‘back of the net!’’

– AL­BERTINA LLOYD Alan Par­tridge: Al­pha Papa opens Thurs­day.

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