Classic Steptoe and Son scenes re-worked for new Christmas theatre show

John Hewer asHaroldand Jeremy Smith as Albert in Christmas with Steptoe and Son, which is being brought to the stage byHambledon Productions. Photo by Jack Lovett.
John Hewer asHaroldand Jeremy Smith as Albert in Christmas with Steptoe and Son, which is being brought to the stage byHambledon Productions. Photo by Jack Lovett.

A theatre show which features a re-worked Steptoe and Son scene is coming to South Yorkshire this Christmas.

The production of ‘Christmas with Steptoe and Son’, which is being brought to the stage by Hambledon Productions, features a re-creation of a Steptoe and Son sequence which no longer exists.

One of the creators of the iconic show,  Ray Galton, who died  in October gave the go-ahead for his and fellow Steptoe and Son co-creator Alan Simpson's material to be re-worked.

The programme was about a thirty-something year-old man named Harold and his elderly father, Albert, who work as rag and bone men, collecting and selling junk.

Harold is ambitious and wants to better himself, but his father always seems to ruin his plans, sometimes accidentally and other times deliberately.

John Hewer, who plays Harold Steptoe, said the scene was recreated following demand from the audience.

He said: “When we were touring Steptoe and Son, the audiences clearly wanted more antics from 23 Oil Drum Lane on stage.

“Ray was very happy for me to adapt not only the fondly remembered Christmas specials from the 70s but also to delve further into the archive and unearth a festive sketch from 1962, broadcast but sadly now missing-believed-wiped by the BBC.

“The script, however, survived intact and so we are absolutely thrilled to be offering something new to the considerable number of Steptoe fans."

John first met Ray Galton and Alan Simpson in 2012 when he was looking for permission to stage lost Hancock's Half Hour episodes.

John added: “Ray and Alan were both such modest gentle men. No ego or bravura. Humour and joviality just came naturally to them. Lovely, lovely people and the whole industry is missing them."

Steptoe and Son starred Harry H Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell and attracted viewing figures in excess of 28 million.  Four series of the popular show were broadcast by the BBC from 1962 to 1965, followed by a second run from 1970 to 1974. 

John said that although the show is now almost 60-year-old, it is still loved by audiences today because the values it teaches are timeless.

He said: “I think Steptoe and Son has survived and continues to be loved because of two key factors; it's still funny and it's still relevant.

“The scripts are so rich, the scenarios still probable and the relationships and dialogue still true that we can still relate and connect to them and empathise and laugh with or at the characters.

“The themes and characteristics explored by Galton and Simpson, such as the father-and-son bond, one-up-man-ship, being aspirational yet forced to be pragmatic.

“But of course, the main reason it has enjoyed such longevity and praise is because it remains so abundantly funny."

The show. ‘Christmas with Steptoe and Son’ takes place at Bawtry Phoenix Theatre, Station Road, Bawtry, Doncaster at 7.30 pm on December 5 and 6 and also Rotherham Underground, Corporation Street, Rotherham at 7.30 pm on December 13.

For more information, and to book tickets for the show, please visit Hambledon Productions’ official website at www.hambledonproductions.com