Le Grand Return by Alan Stockdill. Viaduct Theatre, February 5.

Veterans synchronise watches for the escape to Normandy.  From left to right, Roy Byrom, Keith Royston and Stuart Davison. Photograph by Bruce Cutts.
Veterans synchronise watches for the escape to Normandy. From left to right, Roy Byrom, Keith Royston and Stuart Davison. Photograph by Bruce Cutts.

> Familiar, funny and touching. Le Grand Return - Talking Stock’s latest

> theatrical offering - played to a packed theatre on its opening night in

> Halifax, writes Adam Smith. A strong cast of four (Keith Royston, Roy Byrom, Stuart Davison

> and Giselle Herbert) gel together perfectly and present a very strong yet

> gentle narrative for the audience to consider.

>> The well-rehearsed and timed gags run slickly from scene to scene with

> Godber-esque simplicity and northern charm. Stockdill writes true northern

> characters to recognise and care about, each with their own developed

> traits and quirks that resonate with our childhoods and memories. The

> collection of characters complement each other splendidly; creating

> absolute mischief at times and genuine sadness that is both poignant and

> reflective.

>> The two-act comedy opens in a nursing home around the 50th anniversary of

> D Day and follows a group of veterans who plan one last mission to go back

> Normandy to visit a special residence and pay tribute to a fallen solider

> George Penney. Who knows will they make it or will their plan be stifled

> and will the enemy prevail? With this band of ageing brothers anything can

> happen - and frankly does happen.

> Le Grand Return has a further tour across northern England scheduled

> running until the end of February.

>> Catch this little bullet while you can. Tickets and further information

> can be sourced from the company’s website – talkingstock.co.uk.

>

> Photocaption: Veterans synchronise watches for the escape to Normandy.

> From left to right, Roy Byrom, Keith Royston and Stuart Davison.