Open All Hours at Redditch's Palace Theatre

Redditch Advertiser: Open All Hours at Redditch's Palace Theatre Open All Hours at Redditch's Palace Theatre

WHAT does a theatre director do when he wants to perform the much loved British classic Open All Hours but a script doesn't exist?

He contacts the writer, gains permission and writes it himself of course.

Well, that's what Gary Simmons did. He decided as 2013 was the 40 anniversary of this much loved comedy series what better time to perform it.

However, a stage version didn't exist so he made contact with Roy Clarke and set about adapting it with his directing partner Jane Aston.

Gary said: "I think it's fair to say we've become Open All Hours anoraks. We've watched every episode, visited the shop where the location filming happened and traced most props present in the TV show."

For the show, at Redditch's Palace Theatre, they managed to find original items such a bike that came from Clacton-on-sea which had to be loving restored and even

the notorious till and scales.

Gary, who has relinquished the directorial rains in order to take the lead role of Arkwright, said: "Normally Jane and I direct together so to cross the wall and be directed is quite different but I'm having a great time.

"If the audience have half as much fun watching as we've had in rehearsals they will be guaranteed a fantastic night out."

Jane added: "The adaptation is a collaboration of episodes so audiences will see all the much loved moments made famous by Ronnie Barker and David Jason, blended into one storyline.

"Also, the stage show is faithful to the television series, with something as iconic as Open All Hours you need to meet audience expectation and this production most defiantly does."

The premier stage tour of the show runs at the Palace Theatre May 8, 9 and 10.

For tickets and more information, call the box office on 01527 65203 or visit redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk.

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