The Fast Show | Cast reuniting for thirtieth anniversary live tour

The Fast Show
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1990s sketch series The Fast Show is hitting the road for a 30th anniversary tour around the UK, and here are the details.

When talking about British comedy in the 1990s, it is impossible to overstate the impact of The Fast Show. With a plethora of characters that have successfully stood the test of time, the series itself stands up remarkably well to repeat viewings.

Although many of the characters were well known for their catchphrases – has anybody ever been measured up for a suit in the last thirty years without being able to resist the temptation to say “suits you sir! – there was a darker edge to the writing.

A good example is Rowley Birkin, a Paul Whitehouse character who is usually played as a babbling alcoholic. The final episode of series two features an unusually restrained performance, where the audience stops laughing and are stunned into silence as he delivers a heartbreaking monologue about his lost love.

Perhaps the best remembered characters are Ted and Ralph. Each sketch saw Charlie Higson’s repressed, closeted aristocrat attempt to form a connection with Whitehouse’s lonely Irish groundsman. So successful were the characters, they got their own spin-off prequel television film, Ted & Ralph, in 1998. The late, much missed Caroline Aherne also got her big break with The Fast Show.

Final episode The Last Fast Show Ever featured Hollywood star Johnny Depp – Depp is a huge Anglophile with a keen interest in British comedy. He guest starred in a 1999 Comic Relief special of The Vicar Of Dibley, and he once called Whitehouse “the greatest actor in the world”. Whitehouse went on to cameo in Depp’s 2015 film Mortdecai.

According to the British Comedy Guide, the team – comprised of Whitehouse, Higson, Arabella Weir, John Thomson, Mark Williams and Simon Day – are reuniting for a thirtieth anniversary tour across the UK from February through to April.

The official description for the tour reads as follows:

This celebratory live tour will be a huge treat for fans of the multi-award winning quick-fire TV sketch show and provide a real behind-the-scenes insight into some of their favourite characters and catchphrases as they come alive on stage once again. The cast will chat together about how it all began, how they made the TV show, and created the characters and the fun they had doing it. This will be interspersed with performances of some of their best-loved sketches monologues and songs, with on-screen inserts and a moment to remember their former collaborator, the late, great Caroline Aherne.

Fans will be thrilled to see the return of many of their favourite characters, including: Ted & Ralph, Jesse, Swiss Toni, Does My Bum Look Big In This?, Dave Angel, Jazz Club, The Suit You Tailors, Ron Manager, The Mad Painter, Rowley Birkin, Bob Fleming, Competitive Dad, Professor Denzil Dexter, and The Girl Who Boys Can’t Hear.”

The tour dates are below. Tickets go onsale today.

Sunday 18 February: London, Pleasance Theatre

Monday 18 March: Stoke-On-Trent, Regent Theatre

Tuesday 19 March: York, Grand Opera House

Wednesday 20 March: Glasgow, Pavilion Theatre

Thursday 21 March: Oxford, New Theatre

Friday 22 March: Basingstoke, The Anvil

Saturday 23 March: Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre

Monday 25 March: Sheffield, City Hall

Tuesday 26 March: Newcastle, Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Wednesday 27 March: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall

Thursday 28 March: Birmingham, The Alexandra

Friday 29 March: Bristol, Beacon

Saturday 30 March: Bournemouth, Pavilion

Sunday 31 March: Brighton, Dome

Monday 01 April: Liverpool, Philharmonic

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