Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 30, 2016 9:35:35 GMT 12
My first tour: Frank Williams
rank Williams. Photo: That’s Entertainment Productions
John Byrne - Mar 29, 2016
My first tour wasn’t until the Dad’s Army stage show in 1976, after years of working mainly on screen. However, the tour was four decades ago now, so it seems like ancient history. We were all a bit unsure if it would work, but I was to play my original role of the vicar and laughed when ‘stupid boy’ Pike, Ian Lavender, was told he had to dress as a banana in a dream scene. Fortunately, it was a success and touring became a new and exciting discovery for me.
The Dad’s Army tour followed a six-month London run at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and was nearly seven months on the road playing all the major UK cities, including three weeks at the Blackpool Opera House during what must have been the hottest summer ever.
Most of the cast travelled in a tour bus, which I am sure wouldn’t happen these days. It had no toilets, so the driver had to stop at the side of the road for convenience’s sake. Goodness knows what other passing drivers thought if they saw the famous and elderly TV cast perched at the side of the road.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to do research if you are booking your own digs – on one occasion John Le Mesurier accidentally booked into a temperance hotel. I think he only lasted a couple of nights there.
It feels ironic that, now I’m in my 80s, I am touring more than ever. I have some backstage cine film I took of the Dad’s Army cast on tour, which I screen as part of my current show. It’s of the cast relaxing on days out together in the various places we were playing. Touring was always great fun as we worked closely together. I felt part of a family. The Dad’s Army tour finished on September 4, 1976, which, incredibly, is the same date that I will end my latest chat show tour, More Tea Vicar? at London’s Museum of Comedy – just three minutes’ walk from where it all began at the Shaftesbury Theatre exactly 40 years ago.
CV: Frank Williams Age: 84 Training: I went to the Gateway Theatre in London as a student assistant stage manager in 1949. My father paid the theatre £30, which was then paid to me as wages at £2 per week TV includes: Dad’s Army, You Rang M’Lord?, Z-Cars, Morecambe and Wise Theatre includes: Dad’s Army, The Winslow Boy, Stage Struck, Otherwise Engaged Film includes: The Human Factor
Frank Williams, currently on tour with More Tea Vicar?, was talking to John Byrne
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 17, 2016 13:37:43 GMT 12
Remaining dates for Frank's show "More Tea Vicar?" from Christep, who says "Some venues may not be on sale quite yet, but at least if you are one of the first you will get good seats! Also, some venues have limited seating as we wanted to keep the event intimate and fun. Some venues also include a champagne luncheon or luxury afternoon tea! Do come and say hello afterwards when you can get an autograph and a photograph with the oldest surviving original member of Dads Army who has appeared in the TV series, Radio series and both feature films!"
Sun APRIL 17 OLNEY, Bucks - The Carlton House Club 01234 241357 4pm
Fri MAY 13 WITHAM - Withampublichall.co.uk 0345 0178717 7.30pm
Sat MAY 14 DARTFORD-OrchardTheatre.co.uk 01322 220000 with Tea 2pm
Sun MAY 15 HORSHAM - Thecapitolhorsham.com 01403 750220 2.30pm
Sat JUNE 4 BATH Widcombe Social Club -Bathcomedy.com 0800 411 8881 8pm
Sun JUNE 5 STROUD - Subscriptionrooms.org.uk 01453 760900 3pm
Sun JULY 10 LONDON - Museumofcomedy.com 020 7534 1744 2pm
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 7, 2016 16:33:50 GMT 12
War Veteran and Dad’s Army actor honoured at royal tea party
A WW2 Veteran was honoured at a special event for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Frank Williams, 84, delivered a speech at the St Mary-at-Finchley church, to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday, but he was also honored for his service.
Mr Williams, originally played Rev Timothy Farthing in the original 1980s series, and was thrilled when he was asked to cameo in the 2016 Dad's Army film alongside actors Toby Jones and Bill Nighy.
Gladys Vendy, Church warden and former headmistress at St Mary’s Primary School, dressed as the Queen for the day, at the celebration on Sunday June 26.
Her crown was based for the Queen’s crown at her coronation in 1953.
Organiser Lynn Radnedge said: “We hope it raised a significant sum for our church roof fund – certainly several hundred pounds, but beyond that it raised everyone’s spirits and brought people of all ages together from different parts of the borough.”
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 15, 2016 22:21:38 GMT 12
Dad’s Army star heads for Bognor Regis
10:18Thursday 14 July 2016 0 HAVE YOUR SAY Dad’s Army Vicar Frank Williams invites you to join him for an afternoon of television nostalgia in More Tea, Vicar? at Bognor’s Regis Centre on Sunday, July 24 at 3pm.
David Croft and Jimmy Perry chose Frank to create the role of the eccentric vicar who was always slightly tetchy as he tried to come to terms with the elderly platoon’s invasion of his beloved church hall. Join Frank as he celebrates a lifetime on stage, TV and film.In a trip down memory lane, Frank offers a glimpse behind the scenes and stories of the celebrated cast of Dad’s Army and a host of other TV classics such as Emergency Ward 10; All Gas & Gaiters; Morecambe & Wise; The Two Ronnies and many more.
More Tea Vicar? is produced and presented by Chris Gidney, the author of more than 25 showbiz biographies: “Everybody loves Dad’s Army,” said Chris. “Even after 40 years the series continues to pull huge viewing figures becoming one of the all-time classic greats of television, and it bridges the age gap like no other. People from all ages love More Tea Vicar? because it’s very interactive. We even invite the audience to be part of it and they can ask questions. Frank is a master at describing the most hilarious off-screen happenings. However, Dad’s Army is only a small part of Frank’s career, and as he embarks on an entertaining journey down memory lane, he relives some of the fascinating and hilarious highlights of a film, stage and television career spanning over 50 years.”
Frank said: “I’m looking forward to talking about the strange and remarkable things that the audience never see, like the time we were filming an episode of Dad’s Army and nearly got flattened by a runaway steam train, or when I watched myself on live TV being operated on in Emergency Ward 10 in the comfort of my own home.
“I don’t do live theatre any more apart from my More Tea, Vicar? show. It’s a job learning lines these days…
“My advice to anyone wanting to be an actor is ‘Don’t, unless you are totally committed.’ The thing I love most about being an actor is being part of a congenial company. The thing I least enjoy about being an actor is not knowing where the next job is coming from.”
Whilst still best known as the vicar from Dad’s Army Frank has worked with many of the greats including Tommy Cooper, Harry Worth, Dick Emery and Morecambe & Wise and appeared in more than 30 feature films including three with Norman Wisdom. His numerous other television series count some of the early days of TV including The Army Game, All Gas & Gaiters, Monty Pythons Flying Circus and You Rang M’Lord?
Maybe we'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it might have been a 'typo'. Although I once heard (about 5-10 years ago) someone say Hogan's Heroes was made in the 1980s as well, said by a person that was born in the late-1950s.
Post by Andy Howells on Jul 24, 2016 21:18:44 GMT 12
Time does play tricks on the mind or maybe we'd rather not think we are as old as we are.
Personally I'm proud to have lived through the early 70s if only to remember originally catching Dad's Army, Doctor Who, Two Ronnies and Morecambe and wise and all those other great shows when they first went out.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 10, 2016 15:16:00 GMT 12
Where are they now... ? Dad’s Army star Frank Williams
FRANK first became a well-known face on British television when he appeared in comedy series The Army Game, in the late 1950s.
By NEIL CLARK PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sat, Sep 3, 2016
He made his debut as Reverend Timothy Farthing in 1969
In 1969, he made his debut as the Reverend Timothy Farthing in the hugely popular BBC series Dad’s Army, which ran until 1977. Frank later appeared in Hi-de-Hi! and You Rang, M’Lord?. Frank, 85, who is also an accomplished playwright, reprised his role as the Rev. Farthing in the new Dad’s Army film earlier this year.
He lives in Edgware in north London.
“I was born in Edgware in July 1931. We had no television back then and a source of entertainment for us was my father’s ‘magic lantern’, which was used to show slides. Neither of my parents were from theatrical backgrounds and my interest in drama began with my friends and I performing plays in the living room in front of the family.
I look back at my days in Dad’s Army as the happiest in my life Frank Williams “The cinema was really responsible for me becoming an actor. The first film I remember seeing was Captain January starring Shirley Temple. I was captivated and thought ‘this is what I would like to do!’
My first experience of proper acting was when I played the lead in my school’s production of The Ghost Train.
I never imagined that many years later I would be acting with the man who wrote The Ghost Train, Arnold Ridley, in Dad’s Army.
“I made my television debut in 1952, in The Call Up, a dramatised documentary about six young men starting their National Service. ITV started in 1955 and its first comedy success was The Army Game.
I was in a few episodes playing different characters, but then I got a regular part as Captain Pocket. The series ran for four years and was transmitted live, which was terrifying!
Frank Williams appears in More Tea, Vicar? at the Museum of Comedy
“My association with Dad’s Army came about through creator and co-writer Jimmy Perry, who I knew very well from the Palace Theatre, Watford, which he and his wife ran.
I made my debut in the first episode in series three, which was the first to be made in colour. My character, the Reverend Timothy Farthing, could be tetchy at times, but his heart was in the right place. There was some lovely comedy between him and Captain Mainwaring, and also with Mr Yeatman, the verger.
“I look back at my days in Dad’s Army as the happiest in my life. It was particularly enjoyable when we were on location or went on tour, as in the long hot summer of 1976, when we visited some nice seaside resorts. I was good friends with Teddy Sinclair (the verger), Bill Pertwee (ARP Warden Hodges) and Ronnie Grainge, who appeared in the stage show.
“After Dad’s Army finished, I appeared in one episode of Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s Hi-de-Hi!, again as a vicar, and in You Rang, M’Lord?, where I was promoted to a bishop!
That series was as good as anything Jimmy and David have done.
“My work in the theatre has taken me to many places. I worked with the English Theatre in Vienna and went to countries
I never expected to see while touring in Derek Nimmo’s shows. When we went to Hong Kong, China and Singapore we were treated almost like royalty.
“Now I enjoy touring with my show More Tea, Vicar?, which involves a question and answer session. Earlier this year I appeared in the new Dad’s Army film and I’m also president of the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society.
“Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the last episode of Dad’s Army. It’s as popular as ever, though, and a lot of it is down to the fact that it appeals to the full age range. The characters are marvellous and even though we probably know what they’re going to do or say, it’s always great fun watching them.”
Frank Williams appears in More Tea, Vicar? at the Museum of Comedy, London, on September 4 at 2pm. For more dates, see thatsentertainmentproductions.co.uk.