This is the second series of one-off comedies written by the genius behind the smash-hit radio sitcom Cabin Pressure - John Finnemore. The first series won the coveted Writers Guild of Great Britain award for Best Comedy.
Each show is a comedy perfumed by just two actors - including (across the series) famous household names such as Martin Clunes (Doc Martin), Julia McKenzie (Fresh Fields) and the inimitable voice of Carolyn in Cabin Pressure, Stephanie Cole.
The show comes from Pozzitive, proud producers of Cabin Pressure, Thanks A Lot, Milton Jones!, Jeremy Hardy Speaks To The Nation, The Brig Society, The Castle, Armando Iannucci's Charm Offensive, Shush! and Kevin Eldon Will See You Now....
Stephanie Cole and Kerry Godliman (Derek) star in the first episode - 'The Queen's Speech' - Victoria is very much hoping to see a conjuror, or at the very least a parrot - but instead meets Mabel....
In Episode 2, Julia McKenzie (Fresh Fields) and Gus Brown star in 'Mercy Dash' - Malcolm needs some help. Sue has a spot of time on her hands. Winchester beckons....
In the third show, newcomers Kieran Hodgson (2017 South Bank Arts - Breakthrough Comedy Award) and Ethan Lawrence (Bad Education) are Pidge and Gavin in 'Here's What We Do' - Pidge and Gavin! The old team back together again for one last mission....
And Show 4 pairs the inimitable Una Stubbs (Sherlock) and Tamzin Outhwaite (Redcap) in 'The Rebel Alliance' - Eileen and Lizzie are both determined to enjoy the wedding. No matter what Yvonne does....
Show 5 stars Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) and Tom Goodman-Hill (Humans) with a bit of 'Penguin Diplomac'"- when a chance meeting between Søndergaard and Bunning could very well lead to a new Cold War....
And John Finnemore himself stars in the final show alongside comedy hero Michael Palin in 'The Wroxton Box' - Alec is late as usual. But Percy is wearing different socks. Something big is brewing....
Duration: 3 hours approx.
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John is one of the best writers in his field. He's amazing. He writes some of the most clever stuff that has ever been put on paper, then on radio. Series One of Double Acts was absolutely masterful. 'Red Handed' is a marvel of writing. So clever it defies description. Out of the 6 episodes of Series One, 5 of them are "boundaries" for six. Only one stays inside the field of play but even then is a 4 just tapping the rope.
This series is hit and miss. There are 2 Great. 2 Quite Good. 1 Good, and 1 not very clever. The not very clever one is just preaching, without the twist of mystery, or phrasing.
John is so good, such a good writer and thinker. The one story, while I have no quarrel with the subject matter, is merely two characters standing on a soap box. Which is fine. He can write what he wants and has every right to do so, and it won't stop me from pre-ordering everything that comes from his mind and pen.
Comparing the stories of Series One to Series Two isn't really fair. They are in two different leagues. I have literally listened to Series One two dozen times at least. Series Two will have to pick and choose.
But again. John Finnemore is a genius. He's not just funny and clever, he's a genius. How he tied together "Cabin Pressure" in Zurich is a masterpiece in literature. I heartily recommend anything he does. His genius is just too great. He has the right to write what he wants, and his audience will continue to purchase in droves as they should, but these six stories are just a bit of a step slower than Series One.
The acting in these stories is superb. No quarrel there. Easily as good as Series One. The production, sound, editing, foley, and all other aspects of the episodes is again first class all the way.
You'l have to listen to them
They are all great.
Mostly made me Laugh Out Loud
I can't wait for the next "Souvenir Programme" to come out. Already have it on pre-order.