Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Avengers Take To The Stage

Spurred by yesterday's post concerning Sue Lloyd I thought I'd look at the ill fated stage play of The Avengers from 1971.

Hailed by the production's producer John Mather and director Leslie Phillips (yes, that Leslie Phillips) as the show that would blast British theatre into the 70s, it was sadly something of a misfire. Deemed before its time with special effects too unwieldy for the stage it ran for ten days at The Birmingham Theatre from Thursday 15th July 1971 to Saturday 24th July 1971 before transferring to London's West End, The Prince Of Wales Theatre where poor reviews and problems saw a hasty closure after just three weeks.

The show starred Doomwatch's Simon Oates as John Steed (Patrick Macnee having turned the offer down claiming rightly that the stage would not be the right medium for the show) and Sue Lloyd as Steed's new partner Hannah Wild (an interesting bit of trivia is that future New Avengers star Joanna Lumley auditioned unsuccessfully for the part) Both performers had appeared in the TV series, Lloyd in 'A Surfeit Of H2O' and Oates in 'The Super Secret Cypher Snatch' and 'You Have Just Been Murdered' , he would also appear in The New Avengers second season episode 'Hostage'

Joining them were two more veterans of the TV series, Jeremy Lloyd ('From Venus With Love', 'Thingumajig') as MI5 agent Carruthers and Kate O'Mara ('Stay Tuned') as arch villainess Madame Gerda, leader of 'The Forces of Evil', a group of leather and PVC clad henchwomen who, using invisibility made possible by The Giant Computer Brain, plan to topple the world's governments (?!) 

Here's some photos...

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