Radio Times RATS, Ribchester Village Hall

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For the autumn production RATS paid homage to radio, 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 favourites like Desert Island Discs, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Round the Horne and Just a Minute.

The audience were frequently involved in the production, never more so than in a between the scenes ‘Spot the Intro’ quiz.

The affection the audience had for the radio was 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 lead 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 stories and, as is traditional, were invited to choose 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

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