RATS’ tribute to radio greats

RATS production of 'Radio Times'
RATS production of 'Radio Times'

For their autumn production RATS (Ribchester Amateur Theatrical Society) paid homage to the radio, marking the 90th anniversary of The Radio Times, and in particular the talented artists who have graced BBC Radio 4.

In a series of sketches the Village Hall became Ribchester Radio for the night, with the cast taking the audience through such favourites as “Desert Island Discs”, “I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue”, “Round the Horne” and “Just a Minute”.

The audience was frequently involved in the production and never more so than in a between-the-scenes “Spot the Intro” quiz. The affection that the audience had for the radio was clearly illustrated by the speed with which all the familiar theme tunes were identified.

Not surprisingly the show started with an example of a much-loved tale of ordinary country folk from Ambridge, in which extraordinary events happen. Keith Flood later led the cast of RATS regulars through a memorable game of Just a Minute, in which the teams had to talk for a minute without deviation, hesitation or repetition on subjects as diverse as great naval battles of the First World War, the Ribchester Lengthsman and the specials board at the Ribchester Arms.

In a series of abbreviated Desert Island Discs, cast members were taken on a brief tour of their life histories and in the traditional way were invited to choose the music and an item of luxury to take with them to the fictional desert island.

The deft adaptation of the script for the Ribchester audience and its enthusiastic delivery by the cast, who displayed an obvious rapport with each other made this a certain winner for the audience, who needed little prompting to show their affection for the radio giants portrayed on stage.

Alan Tomlinson