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Drop The Dead Donkey - Milton Keynes Theatre

 Drop the Dead Donkey is iconic.  If you lived the 90’s you don’t need me to tell you this.  The dry wit and quick responses of the characters made it an award-winning TV show.  Drop The Dead Donkey – The Reawakening is in Milton Keynes this week and I was delighted to have a ticket to see the original cast reconnect once more in the world of news journalism.  What’s even more exciting is the original cast members are on stage:  Stephen Tompkinson, Neil Pearson, Susannah Doyle, Robert Duncan, Ingrid Lacey, Jeff Rawle, and Victoria Wicks in this brand-new production.


Some mysterious and rich company has paid for the original members of Globe Link News to join a new news network, Truth News.  The show opens to George trying to make a coffee with a voice activated machine.  If you know George, you know that there is always a disaster just around the corner.  When Dave walks in, followed by Helen, F@%K is the word of the day.  Sure enough the rest of the team follow.  Why has someone brought them all back together?  Who is funding Truth News and will they all get on this time around?  These and other important questions are about to be unearthed. Stay tuned.


I always loved the original TV series but couldn’t quite imagine how it would transfer to the stage in the current world we live in.  But don’t worry, Dave doesn’t drink or gamble anymore, and Joy is now wreaking havoc being the HR rep who doesn’t give a toss about them all.  We have a new weather girl, Rita (Kerena Jagpal) who is an unpaid intern but Gus believes she is being paid – in experience and Mairead is there to find the story behind the story and she is convinced there is one.  But bless Sally who even 30 years later (am I allowed to say that out loud) is still making me laugh with her condescending comments.  Oh, and by the way, Helen is in menopause and Damien is in a wheelchair.  Gus has brought them all together and is convinced that algorithms are the way forward.  He puts Damien in as joint host but as you can imagine, Sally has something to say about that.


The current news topics of the day which was a stalwart of the original show are here is all their glory.  The Royal photoshopped photo was only in the news two days ago and here we are mentioning it on stage.  There is also current classics such as George telling Dave that he was in office with Liz Truss and was media advisor to Prince Andrew.  Poor George.  There is no political bias, both Starmer and Sunak get it in the neck in this show.  There is a large screen with social media feeds regarding Truth News.  We also get to see Trevor McDonald get electrocuted and David Attenborough is suing Truth News for what Sally has implied he was doing.  The truth is, I feel Truth News may end up with the same demise as Globe Link News.


For the die-hard fans who know the TV show there is a nice tribute to missing legend members: Hadyn Gwynne and David Swift at the end of the show.  I loved this show so much.  It works just as well today as it ever did and makes me want a new TV series.  

This show is bursting with razor-sharp wit and classic British humour, by the original writing team of Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, who say: “We’re overjoyed to be working again with the original cast of Drop The Dead Donkey, after a brief hiatus of about 30 years.  Those 7 funny, flawed characters are being plunged into the cutthroat world of modern 24-hour news gathering and trying to navigate their way through the daily chaos of social media and fake news.”.


Its dry wit and brilliantly flawed characters means you need to get a ticket for this.  It’s funny with a capital F! 


Drop the Dead Donkey is at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday 12 March to Saturday 16 March.


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