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Means justify the ends; ARTS REVIEWS.

Byline: Terry Grimley

Go and Play Further Up Your Own End Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Leaving aside what I might think of it, it's clear that Malcom Stent's evolving autobiographical shows have found their audience and that it was very happy with this latest instalment.

Moving on to the 1960s, Go and Play Further Up Your Own End finds the 16 year-old Malcolm starting a band with his mates and getting mixed up with his family's old adversary Bill Dallo-way and his dodgy nightclub. Fortunately his battling Sally Army granny is still around to prevent too much harm being done.

This is much starker in presentation than the original show and was plagued by sound problems as well as uncooperative curtains on opening night. Alongside a cast of the usual Brummie suspects there is a guest appearance by Jess Conrad as a displaced teddy-boy who thankfully doesn't attempt the accent but is a slightly disconcerting presence, part Clive Dunn, part still recognisable as the pop star who won the NME poll for best singer around the time the show is set.

What else can you say about the show? It's very sentimental, none of the young people actually look young, and Dave Sealey's songs can't repeat the miracle of the best in Wallop Mrs Cox of making something genuinely anthemic out of Birmingham.

Running time: Two hours 45 minutes. Until Saturday.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 8, 2006
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