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‘Life-affirmingly joyful celebration’ of cult TV show’s return to audiences

Phil Mealey and Craig Cash in the Early Doors' stage show
Phil Mealey and Craig Cash in the Early Doors' stage show

For just two short series, Early Doors played out on BBC - but was all-too-soon consigned to the TV archives, giving the Craig Cash and Phil Mealey creation a cult status.

Set in a pub, the show celebrated the mundanity of life among a group of locals in Stockport at The Grapes pub.

And this week, the newly created stage show will come to Blackpool, after a three-week sold-out run at Salford’s The Lowry theatre.

Gazette reviewer Andy Sykes said: “Could they write a script that would live up to the warmth, humour and unrivalled one-liners of its TV show predecessor? It was a challenge and a half - but one they have truly conquered with aplomb.

“It was wonderful, a self-deprecating, feel-good continuation of the life and times of a ragtag bunch of characters, who were each cheered on to the stage like old friends as they arrived through The Grapes’ doors.

“Like the show, it revolves around hangdog pub landlord Ken and his battles with the women in his life - barmaid Tanya and battle-axe mum Jean.

“From the first scene, actor John Henshaw is simply masterful, aided by a script which stayed true to his sarcastic brilliance and swift put downs, all delivered with his usual Mancunian twang.

“The unexpected finale is life-affirmingly joyful, a celebration of each character’s contribution to a comedy masterpiece.”

* Early Doors, Opera House, Blackpool, Wednesday, 7.30pm. Limited availability.