as it’s a great theatre and I’m able to go home after the show.
“The billboard on the roof is highly visible and whenever I’m performing there, it’s a strange feeling seeing myself on the poster as I drive down the hill towards High Wycombe.”
I ask Brian what audiences can expect of Barnum?
“An entertaining evening with a great story, plenty of colour, comedy, circus stunts, catchy songs and spectacular costumes. My opening costume for example cost ten grand and it’s a night you won’t want to miss.”
Commenting on Conley’s appeal, theatre director Simon Stallworthy says: “Brian is one of the country’s most talented entertainers and a firm favourite with our theatre-goers. We are delighted that Brian is performing in this hugely popular musical.
“Barnum is one of the highlights of our 2014 programme and our audiences are in for a treat.”
Barnum runs from October 7 to 11. Ticket prices range from £23 to £39.
Book online via wycombeswan.co.uk or call 01494 512 000. (Please note, a booking fee of £1.50 per ticket will be added to all transactions unless stated otherwise.)
12A David Tennant, Rosamund Pike, Ben Miller, Amelia Bullmore, Billy Connolly, Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge, Harriet Turnbull, Celia Imrie
2007, Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin abandoned the conventions of a tightly scripted sitcom and took a more fluid approach to mining laughs in the breakout hit Outnumbered.
While the adult characters’ lines were committed to the page, the young actors were allowed to improvise around suggestions from Hamilton and Jenkin, and consequently delivered natural performances, reacting instinctively to set-ups and punchlines.
The writer-directors adopt the same winning recipe for this uproarious feature film debut, an ill-fated family road trip laced with absurdity that touches the heart and tickles the funny bone.
Once again, it’s the younger cast who scene-steal with aplomb, explaining why a bout of car sickness is a source of joy (“It’s like being a fountain!”) and succinctly distilling the anguish and betrayal of parental infidelity into a single throwaway line (“Dad had an affair with a Paralympic athlete with one foot”).
That’s not to say that Hamilton and Jenkin short-change the rest of the ensemble cast. They snaffle a generous smattering of belly laughs too, for example when the cantankerous Gordie McLeod (Billy Connolly) tries to eIxsplyaoinuHrittlehr’es seizure of land in terms his grandchildren might
N“Like Monopoly, but with more screaming.”
He is soon to celebrate his 75th birthday in the Scottish Highlands.
His self-obsessed son Gavin (Ben Miller) is hosting a lavish party to impress the neighbours and – he hopes – secure the captaincy of the local golf club.
Gavin’s long-suffering and neurotic wife Margaret (Amelia Bullmore) remains in the background, occasionally exploding with pent-up rage.
As the party beckons, Gavin’s less successful brother, Doug (David Tennant), and his wife, Abi (Rosamund Pike), arrive with their three children in tow: 11-year-old Lottie (Emilia Jones), who scribbles repeatedly in her notebook so she can remember which lies she is supposed to tell, six-year-old Mickey (Bobby Smalldridge), who is obsessed with Vikings, and five-year-old Jess (Harriet Turnbull), wghroosue rsohckos christened Eric and Norman eto iurthsdwaywcewle.bgreattibonuscakres
b unexpectedly thrown into disarray and a media scrum descends on the family’s doorsteps. There is also an interfering Social Services officer called Agnes (Celia Imrie), who casts doubt on Doug and Abi’s ability to nurture their dysfunctional brood.
What We Did On Our Holiday is a rip-roaring riot, laying bare the petty jealousies and deep-rooted fears within a family while dealing with serious issues through the unblinkered eyes of the children.
Tennant and Miller spark a fiery sibling rivalry with excellent support from Pike and Bullmore, the latter proving that it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
Hamilton and Jenkin eschew cloying sentimentality in the film’s
storiwkin! g a pleasing and ultimately winning balance estewnedens
Ben Miller and David Tennant play two mis-matched brothers