Goon, but they’re not for­got­ten

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT - RICHARD MAYS

The Goon Show in­flu­enced sev­eral en­tire gen­er­a­tions. Prince Charles, The Bea­tles, John Cleese and Gra­ham Chap­man from Monty Python, Dou­glas Adams of Hitch­hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame, and later comics such as Eddy Iz­zard, all came un­der its spell.

Broad­cast on BBC ra­dio dur­ing the 1950s, the ground­break­ing an­ar­chic, sur­real com­edy with its quirky and lu­di­crous char­ac­ters, non­sen­si­cal plots and in­no­va­tive use of sound ef­fects was largely scripted by Spike Mil­li­gan, and voiced by him and his con­fed­er­ates Peter Sell­ers and Harry Se­combe.

Well, the Goons are back, live in Palmer­ston North cour­tesy of a Boys’ High fundraiser. A live ra­dio show per­for­mance will rein­car­nate the clas­sic char­ac­ters and recre­ate the live mu­si­cal in­ter­ludes, re­plac­ing orig­i­nal mu­si­cians Max Geld ray and Ray Ellington with school singing ensem­ble the OK Cho­rale and the award­win­ning PNBHS Stage Band.

Show co­or­di­na­tor and pro­ducer Ken Benn said the per­for­mances of four Goon Show episodes will take place in the Speirs Cen­tre over three nights from June 29 - July 1.

‘‘It’s been a fun project. Every night will be a dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tion of episodes with Chris Hig­gie as Spike Mil­li­gan, Philip Mills as Harry Se­combe and me as Peter Sell­ers,’’ Benn said.

Us­ing scripts, the trio will act as though record­ing those 1950s ra­dio shows.

‘‘It’s a world first in Palmer­ston North - a live Goon Show per­for­mance with a live orches­tra.’’

The Goon Shows open on Thurs­day 29 with episodes The Tallest Moun­tain in The World and The Dreaded Bat­ter Pud­ding Hurler. The fol­low­ing night sees The Tallest Moun­tain in The World cou­pled with The Lost Trea­sure of Loch Lomond, and the Satur­day night fi­nale has The Tallest Moun­tain in The World paired with The Span­ish Suit­case.

‘‘This rep­re­sents two years of ne­go­ti­a­tions with the ‘Beeb’, who are not charg­ing us any roy­al­ties, be­cause it is a fundraiser.’’

Pro­ceeds from the three­night sea­son will go to­wards school projects, travel bur­saries and Septem­ber’s Ital­ian ed­u­ca­tional tour.

$20 tick­ets are avail­able through the PNBHS Fi­nance Of­fice or Event finda.

Ken Benn plays Peter Sell­ers roles, Philip Mills does Harry Se­combe’s, and Chris Hig­gie per­forms as Spike Mil­li­gan.

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