World Exclusive: Dad’s Army Revival
Our theatre critic, Arden of Faversham, reports from his bench near the Rotary Club funded play area outside the town’s swimming pool. He tells On the Square there has been a lot of activity recently at the Theatre, involving many well known faces. Given the proximity of the Sun Inn and his well known desire for a drink, we are unable to confirm the following exclusive.
Following the local elections, all the Tory ex-councillors and disappointed blue-rosetted hopefuls found they were at a loose end. Poncing round in aprons and uttering strange incantations to the Great Architect just doesn’t cut it. Luckily for the people of Faversham-on-Sea, they have decided to get together to stage a Dad’s Army Revival show.
In something of a coup for Faversham-on-Sea, the erstwhile leader of the borough’s Home Guard Andrew Bowles has agreed to join the cast as Captain Mainwaring. He came free when his part in the Swale Tory Circus (motto “You won’t believe it if you saw it with your own eyes!”) abruptly came to end, when an angry mob of Kent locals ripped down the big top.. He has generously offered to bring his own bowler hat, casual insults against Europeans and army baton.
After years of playing the suave leading man with the fine 1970’s moustache, Mike Cosgrove has finally acknowledged the inevitability of the ageing process. He is a natural for fastidious old worrier Lance Corporal Jones, warning everyone about the Lib Dems, “They don’t like it up em!”
Nigel Kay will play Private Walker, the black market spiv who has purchased an old shoe shop and is convinced by his own spreadsheets that it will solve Faversham-on-Sea’s money issues for years to come. The anticipated windfall will not be for fifty years. Meanwhile the town is cut off as there is no money to pay for a new bridge
Every production needs a villain. Local ARP Warden, Hodges will be played by Andy Culham, calling the Home Guard and the people of Faversham-on-Sea “pond life.”
We asked Findlay McDonald, who plays dour Scotsman Private Frazer, for his thoughts on how the production would fare – staying in character, he replied as quick as a flash “We’re all doomed! Doomed, I tell ye!”.
Given the budget cuts, Mike Cosgrove will also play Private Godfrey, the doddery geriatric with an endless supply of meaningless non-sequiturs. He will supply his own script and ad lib each night. Bowles will also play Private Sponge.
Sadly, there is no one to play Sergeant Wilson, the charming, sophisticated and debonair sergeant as there is no one among the Tories who fits the bill.
Nigel Kay will be in charge of ticketing. £5 tickets will cost £100 but can be redeemed in fifty years time at cost price.
(with thanks/apologies to Ian Newman)
Despite his claims that canvassing was going swimmingly and his popularity had, if anything, increased since his recent Twitter dalliance with the racist far right, erstwhile Swale conservative leader Andrew Bowles was getting twitchy in the final run-up to the election.
His last flyer, distributed just a few days before voters booted him off Swale Borough Council came with a strong whiff of desperation. Ironically, given his retweet promoting convicted criminal and anti-muslim agitator Tommy Robinson as a “patriot'”, Bowles' last-ditch attempt to stay in power was an attempt to portray his rivals in Swale's Boughton and Courtenay ward as dangerous political extremists.
The flyer lashed out at Green candidates Faversham GP, Alastair Gould and Tim Valentine branding them as “from the rabidly pro-European Union Green Party allied locally to the Labour Group in Swale” which were in turn disparaged as “a hard left Momentum Labour Party addicted to high taxes and high spending with a record of inefficient Councils and with largely totally inexperienced Council Candidates”.
Poor Mr Bowles. Despite his cataclysmic warnings, constituents decided they would rather take their chances with the terrifying revolutionary forces of the Swale Greens and Labour Party than keep him in power a day longer. Rumours that the Lib Dems will fly the hammer and sickle over Kent’s most expensive shoe shop just to annoy him can be discounted.
Deposed apologist for Tommy Robinson and staunch Brexiteer, Andrew Bowles can draw some comfort from his long overdue ejection knowing that Sheppey UKIP candidate buddhist Padmini Nassanga has regained her seat on the Council, where she is flying the flag for the politically confused. On her Swale Council page, she declares two interests, UKIP and the International Buddhist Relief Organisation, whose motto is “care with compassion and loving kindness to all living beings.” This is the same Padmini Massanga who tweeted that remainers “should be hanged or chopped up with big machetes”.
Originally from Sri Lanka, it will be interesting to see if she takes her cue from UKIP HQ and deports herself back to an even smaller island than the one she now inhabits. Back in Sri Lanka, she can indulge in her loving kindness for all living beings by cutting their heads off.
Just next to the Upper Brents industrial estate is a squat, bunker-like building surrounding by security fencing. Once owned by an engineering company it is now the venue for more arcane machinations - by the wives of Faversham's band of brothers, known locally as the “masonettes.” But while the men gather in one of the finest Elizabethan buildings in Faversham, the masonettes have an ugly shed, which must be an embarrassment to the Great Architect in the sky. The only question troubling on the square is who has the better aprons? Answers on a secret postcard please.
Posed or Deposed?
Spare a thought for poor old former Councillor Mike Cosgrove, who lost his seat in the recent election meltdown. For years, he was a devoted and loyal servant of the Tory Party. When Downing Street demanded austerity cuts, his only question was how deep? His reward for a lifetime of selfless devotion? After the May local elections he was due to become Faversham's Mayor. Imagine his delight at all those photographs of his elegantly coiffured silver quiff perched on top of the robe, three cornered hat and gold chain of office. Fellow Tories Nigel Kay, Shiel Campbell and Trevor Abram all got to dress up and sashay around feeling important while being made a fuss of by the local cap-doffers and forelock-tuggers. This year, it was finally his turn.
But sadly this is one bit of local government law the local Tories couldn't ignore. The rules are clear. No seat, no baubles. So here’s a suggestion. Perhaps his loyal Conservative party friends, with their long arms and deep pockets, could rally round and buy Mike his own mayoral costume (available from any good theatrical costumier or even Ebay). Then they can all cheer the old chap up playing pretend at the next lodge meeting.