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Spike Milligan centenary celebrated with new play from Chris Larner and Jeremy Stockwell

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CHRIS Larner and Jeremy Stockwell are bringing A Sockful of Custard, a celebration of the British comic Spike Milligan, to the Pleasance Theatre – from May 16 to May 26, 2018.

In the year of his hundredth birthday, Spike Milligan looks back on his life with an hour and a half of laughs, songs, philosophy, and utter utter silliness. Chris Larner and Jeremy Stockwell – two men with beards – sift through the madness and find only more of it.

Spike Milligan was a man of great sensitivity, insight, and comedic invention, who redefined the landscape of British comedy on stage, radio and TV. Playing not only Spike himself, in all his guises, those who surrounded him, and themselves, Larner and Stockwell break down what made Spike tick, as well as the immense influence he has had on their careers and lives.

Jeremy Stockwell plays Spike Milligan following his sell-out success playing theatre maverick Ken Campbell in Terry Johnson’s new play, Ken at The Bunker, earlier this year. He has also appeared in West End and National Theatre productions, and TV comedy series including Spitting Image.

Stockwell is also known as a director, most recently directing The Angelos & Barry Show, The Thinking Drinkers, Are There More of You, How to do Acting (Properly) and The Very Perry Show, which won Best Comedy Show award at the United Theatre Solo Festival in New York in 2017 – all of which are playing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Chris Larner is best known as a writer, lyricist and composer, with work for The Right Size, Lee Hall’s adaptations of Mr. Puntila and his Man Matti (Almeida, West End, Traverse, Tour) and The Barber of Seville (Bristol Old Vic), and The Miser (Garrick Theatre).

Larner has also written (with Mark Stevens) new musicals The Translucent Frogs of Quuup (Edinburgh Fringe, Ambassadors, Kings Head), On the Island of Aars (Pleasance), The Frida Kahlo of Penge West (Rosemary Branch and Edinburgh), and his Fringe-First-winning 2011 one-man show An Instinct for Kindness, which he performed and the radio version of which was broadcast earlier this year as BBC4’s Pick of the Week.

Tickets: £13, £10 concession.

Times: 7.45pm. No performance on May 21. 5pm on May 20.

Running Time: 90 minutes.