I'm sorry, I couldn't stop laughing

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue @ Theatre Royal, Norwich

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue @ Theatre Royal, Norwich

By TREVOR HEATON

A group of old friends dropped by to the Theatre Royal last night – or that was the way it seemed.

Twenty-nine years and 37 series after it first began, the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue team arrived to a rapturous reception from an appreciative Norfolk audience.

Not surprising, really. After all, I'm Sorry is not only one of Radio Four's best-loved shows but a genuine British comic institution.

Chairman Humphrey Lyttelton, laconic as ever, was joined by regulars Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer and Tim Brooke-Taylor with Sandi Toksvig as special guest. Plus, of course, Colin Sell on the piano and the lovely scorer Samantha.

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The audience enjoyed almost 2½ hours of material, to be whittled down to two half-hour shows.

Producer Jon Naismith told the audience: “Your role is to laugh loudly, enthusiastically, stupidly the entire evening.”

Not that we needed much prompting, with all the classic rounds to enjoy – One Song to the Tune of Another, Sound Charades, Pick-up Song, Cheddar Gorge, yes, Mornington Crescent, and so many more.

Great moments? So many. Tim singing Teenage Dirtbag, Sandi trading insults for insults with the rest of the panel, Humph sitting with a shocked, innocent expression on his face at yet another double-entendre.

Such was the box-office appeal of the show that the theatre could probably have sold it out for a week instead of just the one night. For those who couldn't attend, listen out for the shows which will be broadcast on June 25 and July 2.

At the end of the recording, one of the sound engineers brought on an 80th birthday cake for Humph, and the whole theatre joined in a chorus of “Happy Birthday”.

And we felt that we had all just been to the party.

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