CHESTERFIELD: Les Dawson’s comic creations draw crowds to Pomegranate

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PUT together a couple of characters immortalised by a popular comedian and a couple of actors familiar from a favourite soap and it’s a surefire recipe for a full theatre.

PUT together a couple of characters immortalised by a popular comedian and a couple of actors familiar from a favourite soap and it’s a surefire recipe for a full theatre.

So it is at the Pomegranate this week, for Cissie and Ada.

The play is built around the gossipy middle-aged pair created by the late lamented Les Dawson and actor Roy Barraclough in Dawson’s TV comedy shows. It takes the audience backstage, and into the scratchy but affectionate relationship between Les Dawson and BBC comedy writer Terry Ravenscroft.

Eric Potts, one-time Coronation Street baker Diggory Compton, is Dawson to the manner born; Steven Arnold, Corrie’s squeaky-voiced butcher Ashley Peacock until the notorious 2010 tram crash, is Ravenscroft.

Ably supported by Steve Nallon as Roy Barraclough, AKA Cissie, and Natasha Magigi as Sandra, the pair’s hapless dresser, they delve into the show’s background: the booze, the insecurities, sensitivities and tragedies, and the origins of both characters and jokes.

Many of the gags are familiar old chestnuts, and there are plenty of laughs both on and off the TV set, but the play is more than that. It offers a rare glimpse behind the façade, and an insight into the real world behind the comedy.

Cissie and Ada runs at the Pomegranate until Saturday, October 19.

LYNNE PATRICK