A theatre group which creates parodies of classic comedies is to take its latest show to the biggest arts festival in the world.
Preston-based Comedy Dining are taking their production of Only Fools and Three Courses, to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month and tickets are already selling faster than a case of Del Boy’s dodgy Albanian radio cassettes.
The Kama Sutra restaurant is the location for the show and audience members are served a meal while the performance goes on around them with actors playing all the show’s favourites including Rodney (you plonker), Uncle Albert, Boycie, Marlene, Raquel and Trigger.
The cast, who played to jubilant audiences across the UK, recently returned from a run in Australia where the sitcom is hugely popular and next year they are booked to play in Bangkok and Singapore. In October they begin a residency in Covent Garden.
“It’s astonishing how enduring the show is,” says Denny Hodge, who plays Del Boy. ”Even after all these years, people still go wild for it. Some of its greatest fans are outside of the UK.”
This time next year they could be millionaires.
Denny may not be a household name, but has been a key figure on some of Britain’s most successful sitcoms and prime-time TV shows over the past 30 years.
The off-camera funny man’s credits include Birds of a Feather, Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By, Goodnight Sweetheart, The New Statesman, New Faces, Blind Date, Bullseye, Blockbusters and even Only Fools and Horses.
In between takes, Denny, 55, has kept studio audiences roaring with laughter with his impressions, one-liners and stand-up routines.
It was introducing Only Fools and Horses to audiences that gave Denny the chance to observe David Jason playing Del Boy at close quarters and watch his mannerisms that meant he was able to do a near perfect impression of the character.
When Danny got the chance to play Del Boy in the show he jumped at the chance.
“It’s like a dream come true,” he said. “I now travel the world playing one of my favourite characters and making people laugh.
“It’s such an enjoyable experience for the audience and that rubs off on the cast.
“Two of the great joys of life are eating and laughing and we get a ringside seat watching happy people doing both every night.
“I couldn’t imagine a better way to earn a living.”