BBC Radio’s award-winning antidote to panel games returned to the stage with its show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue at the Spa Scarborough, only the second date in a sell-out tour.
John Naismith, the producer for more than 20 years, opened the show with a few “warm up the audience” jokes, some from shows as old as 1991 he admitted, but still the audience laughed, especially when he then instructed everyone in the art of playing the kazoo.
There was a free one, in a variety of colours, on every seat. Their purpose was explained later in the show when it was clear that only three people had a red kazoo, and they were to stand up and demonstrate their skills.
Jack Dee, Barry Cryer, Tony Hawks, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Jeremy Hardy gave us an evening of inspired nonsense, with Colin Sell providing piano accompaniment.
Whether the teams were singing the words of one song to the tune of another – Kung Fu Fighting to the tune of Scarborough Fair, and Relax to the tune of There’s a Kind of Hush – making up serial rhymes, entering the mythic maze of Mornington Crescent (a game famously inspired by the London Underground but you have to be an aficionado of the Radio 4 programme to understand this particular one), devising different endings to well known advertising slogans; sound charades, and Jack Dee taking on the persona of Nicholas Parsons to deliver a round of Just a Minute, it was an evening of great hilarity, nonsense and audience participation.
Tony Hawks’ rendition of Gangnam Style with expert timing earned one of the loudest cheers.
Local research had been carried out before they arrived in Scarborough, with lots of references to familiar places, (not always complimentary), however it was all delivered and taken in good humour.