What happens when a fantasist with a fading memory recalls events from years ago ? Frankie Abbott now in a care home, is helped by Marion one of the carers to remember.
David Barry, who played the hapless Frankie Abbott in the 60s and 70s sitcoms Please Sir! and The Fenn Street Gang, has now written this bitter sweet comedy that follows what has happened to Frankie 40 years on.
A Day in the Lives of Frankie Abbott is presented by The Misty Moon Film Society Upstairs At The Gatehouse, 26-28 August, as part of the Camden Fringe 2016.
David said: “The play is about Frankie Abbott now his mother is dead. Mother was a big feature in the Fenn Street Gang series and he was mother-smothered. He’s got this onset of senility but he was always a fantasist.
“He talks abut how he sorted the Krays out and all that. Marion, the carer in the home is trying to help his memory, but his long-term memory is fine, and she’s trying to find out what is real and what is fantasy.
“It is a funny story but there is pathos because of the onset of Alzheimers. There are some truths of what his life was really like, beyond the fantasy. He is a bit like Jay from The Imbetweeners and Gareth in The Office. But who came first? Frankie Abbott.
“Peter Cleall (Duffy) did a talk with me in October so we had a reunion. I often go to see Carol Hawkins, who played Sharon his girlfriend.”
David started his career at the age of 14, working alongside Lawrence Olivier in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. “We toured all over Europe. It was 1957 so it was the first tour that went into Communist Block countries. We were warned not to have political talks because there might be party members listening.
“What a great actor he was and Vivienne Leigh used to spoil me rotten. When we came back to London they were going to tear down the St James’ Theatre. Vivienne went to the House of Commons to object. We went on a march throughout London and she dragged me to the front.”
David is now a published crime writer, with nine published novels and a biography called Flashback: An Actor’s Life. He also wrote an episode of Fenn Street Gang and the Keep It In The Family in the 1980s. He now has a weekly show on a Saturday on Channel Radio called David Barry’s Imaginarium.
Linda Regan who is playing Marion the carer, is best known for portraying April the yellow coat in the BBC’s hit comedy Hi-De-Hi. Linda is also an accomplished crime writer and has many publications under her belt.
She first met David when he appeared in the film version ofGeorge and Mildred with her husband Brian Murphy (George).
Misty Moon specialises events with cult characters and their previous shows have included Robin Askwith, most famous for his role as Tommy Lea in the Confessions series and Vanessa Fielding from Carry on Screaming.
A Day in the Lives of Frankie Abbott is 50 minutes long and will be followed by a Q&A with David and Linda.
For more details and tickets visit www.camdenfringe.com
To see the reaction to this show: https://youtu.be/ioN97yF4e5E
Linda Regan (April in Hi-de-Hi) plays Marion in A Day in the Lives of Frankie Abbott.