THREE years after it disappeared from our screens – following a 37-year-run – Last of The Summer Wine is back.
Foggy, Clegg and Compo will reunite for one last adventure, in a new stage version of the popular series, coming to Barnsley later this month.
And three Barnsley actors will combine their 170 years of acting experience to pull off the famous lead roles.
Tim Rutherford, Bill Moss and Len Pargett admitted the three characters have big shoes to fill.
Tim, aged 61, who will play Foggy in the LS Theatre Production at The Academy Theatre in Birdwell, Barnsley, said: “They were beloved by so many people for so many years, so of course we’re aware of wanting to stay true to everything people love and remember about them.
“I was a big fan of the show and the characters, but there’s an awareness of trying not to just be a ‘tribute band’ and do it the same way.
“You need to bring a bit of yourself to it too.”
Len, 73, plays Compo in the show and admits the character is his favourite.
Len, who has been acting for nearly 60 years, said: “I tuned into the series from the start – it was brilliant.
“Coming from Yorkshire, it’s a comfortable role to play, the language is familiar and we’re doing our best to make the old Last of The Summer Wine magic reappear.”
Unlike the other two, Bill, who plays Cleggy, says he never cared for the original series.
Bill, who has been involved in amateur operatics for 65 years, said: “In some ways I think that’s an advantage, because I’m not finding I’m coloured by what I remember seeing on the TV.
“It’s great because we’re all in that age bracket now where there aren’t a lot of juicy lead parts going, so it’s great having something specifically for people our age that we can really get our teeth into.”
Director Lee Semley has just finished a successful run of drag queen extravaganza Les Cages Aux Folles and says going straight into Last Of The Summer Wine has been a bit of a shock to the system.
He said: “I’ve gone from drag queens, dance routines and sequins straight to flat caps and squabbles in broad Yorkshire over pints of bitter – that’s part of what makes my job so interesting.
Lee launched LS Theatre Productions five years ago and has put on six shows a year since then.
He said: “There’s so much talent locally in this age pool. It’s great to see this team of blokes coming together and it’s exciting to see what’s coming out of that mix.”
The show runs from Tuesday to Friday, March 12 to 15, at The Academy Theatre, Take2 Centre, Birdwell, Barnsley. For details, call 01226 299047.