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Dad's Army classics to go on show

PUBLISHED: 17:24 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:10 05 July 2010

THE fearless fighting force of Walmington-on-Sea, best known to millions as Dad's Army, is returning to the region in which much of it was filmed next week as the Marina Theatre, in Lowestoft, plays host to the only Norfolk and Suffolk performances in the stage revival of the popular classic television sitcom.

THE fearless fighting force of Walmington-on-Sea, best known to millions as Dad's Army, is returning to the region in which much of it was filmed next week as the Marina Theatre, in Lowestoft, plays host to the only Norfolk and Suffolk performances in the stage revival of the popular classic television sitcom.

Former Eastender Leslie Grantham has been enlisted for the role of racketeering cockney, Private Walker in the production, which comes to the town for seven performances from Tuesday - co-inciding with the 40th anniversary of the original TV series.

Based by writer Jimmy Perry on his own youthful experiences, the television series was initially rejected by the BBC for fear that it would denigrate the wartime heroes.

Perry and David Croft were persuaded to make the original scripts, which were last produced in the 1970s, available for the new production.

It features four of the original episodes, including the classic, award-winning “Deadly Attachment” in which Capt Mainwaring and his loyal platoon capture a German U boat crew with uproarious results.

However, the highlight of the production is the inclusion of two very rare and real gems - the lost episodes.

Not seen since 1969, the show will offer a unique opportunity to see two classics that have been completely lost since the originals episodes were unfortunately erased by the BBC.

The first, “A Stripe For Frazer” reveals the competition between Frazer and Jones when Mainwaring offers a promotion to the rank of corporal for one of his lucky soldiers, while “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker” catalogues Private Walker's desperate attempt to avoid the draft.

Manager of the Marina, Martin Halliday said: “I am delighted to have been offered this exclusive opportunity to secure this major national tour for the region, there is a huge amount of affection for Dad's Army and with the area used for so many locations in the original series the show is effectively coming home”.

Tickets for the show, which runs from April 22 to 26, are available from the theatre box office on 01502 533200.

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