Thursday, December 07, 2017

Bananaman lives!

Art by Nigel Parkinson.
I was at the Southwark Playhouse on Tuesday to see the brilliant Josie Lawrence in the anti-war play Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht. This is the show's last few days but I thoroughly recommend it to anyone to catch it before it ends. Powerful, emotive performances by Josie and the cast in a great intimate theatre where you feel you're part of the story.
Photo ©2017 Lew Stringer
Next week, a new show opens at the same theatre: Bananaman, a musical by Leon Parris based on the long-running comics character. As most of you know, Bananaman was created by Steve Bright and began in Nutty comic back in 1980 where it was drawn by John Geering, then the strip moved over to The Dandy after the two comics merged. When The Dandy ended in 2012 it moved to The Beano, where it still resides, now written by Tommy Donbavand and drawn by Wayne Thompson. 

Glaswegian actor Matthew McKenna is playing the part of Bananaman, and here he is in costume designed by Mike Leopold. Photo by Claire Bilyard. 
Photo by Claire Bilyard.
Bananaman runs from 15th December 2017 to 20th January 2018 and you can find out more info and ticket details here:
http://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/bananaman/

Can it work as an all-ages musical? I think so! This song (sung by Mark Pickering as Doctor Gloom) is a real belter. Have a listen...




5 comments:

Mike said...

Bananaman was too late for my first childhood and too early for my second. But, plagiarism: can I count the ways? The strength-giving food of Popeye, the child-adult transformation of Billy Batson, the looks & sounds of Batman. How did they get away with it?

Then I wonder about Brickman. Is there an alter-ego Harry Hod? A transformational trowel? Perhaps a call to arms: "Let no grouting go unpointed."

Lew Stringer said...

They "got away with it" because it's a parody of superheroes, Mike. Not sure what you mean by the sounds of Batman.

As for Brickman, why not give it a go? His alter ego is Loose Brayne, and Tina Trowel is his Robin.

Robert Carnegie said...

"Loose Brayne", huh?

tap tap tap

"sitting in his very expensive mansion, when a brick smashed through the window" -

Sure, why not?

As for superhero plagiarism, many closely similar cartoon vigilantes have appeared (not generally similar to Brickman, but that too - not that I have anyone in mind), and while lawyers are occasionally called for, mostly it's not worth the trouble.

Mike said...

Thanks, Lew. I'm not sure about the sound either - I think it's the name - it made sense at 6 o'clock this morning.

Well, I've conceived a character of satirical & topical bent, certainly bent. A gullible office boy falls into Lord Rothermere's printing press and emerges as... Billy Brexit! Combining the strength & steadyness of Theresa May, the negotiation skills of David Davis and the diplomacy of Boris Johnson, young Billy will put the Great back into Britain. Not original, I know, but it should deliver a few chuckles. Just hope Alan Moore doesn't steal it.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Robert, but that's literally been the origin of Brickman since 1979. I guess you never read it.

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