John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme Recording – Series 4 Episode 2

As I have explained numerous times on this blog, but will do so again for the sake of consistency, ‘John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme’ is a radio 4 sketch show, penned by Cabin Pressure writer John Finnemore. Recently I attended a recording of an episode of  the fourth series.

???????????????????????????????The recording took place at the Shaw Theatre in London, a venue I had not yet visited. All the normal cast were present including Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Simon Kane. Lawry Lewin and Carrie Quinlan. The episode contained many hilarious sketches, some of which I had already heard at the series try-outs (here and here). These included various sun gods arguing at a dinner party, a very uninspiring careers advisor and something about Humpty Dumpty.

???????????????????????????????One sketch I found less funny was a very long, very drawn-out piece where the cast played bowling skittles who seemed to have taken the bowling balls up as Gods for some reason. The sketch consisted of the cast rotating and speaking in whimpish murmurs up to the balls, asking them not to be knocked down. Probably the only sketch in the entire show I didn’t like.

IMG_1592After the show I went on my regular autograph hunt. As well as acquiring a script for the episode I also got the whole cast (+Ed Morrish and Susannah Pearse) to sign this poster which I designed myself!

John Finnemore’s Library Edition 2

With live recordings of ‘John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme’ series 4 on the horizon, John and co set off to Kensington Library to ‘try-out’ some material for the new series in his second ‘Library Edition’.

???????????????????????????????Joining John were his co-stars Simon Kane and Carrie Quinlan. The content for this ‘try-out’ was mainly revamped material from the first library edition, with a few new sketches thrown in. It was great to hear the wonderful ‘Belgium is the Best’ song again, this time with Susannah Pearce on piano as well as sketches like Victor Hugo sharing his book with Quasimodo and The ‘Wallabies’ family.

???????????????????????????????We also got to hear a revised version of john’s latest ‘So you ask Me’, possibly one of his best yet.  After the show I got some autographs from the cast including Carrie Quinlan, Susannah Pearce, Simon Kane and, the man himself, John Finnemore!

The series will be broadcast in October on BBC Radio 4.


John Finnemore’s Library Edition 1

The summer is dawning which means a new series of John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme is in the making. In preparation for the final recordings of series 4, John Finnemore put together a ‘try-out’ of material that may make it into the final show and performed it in front of a live audience at Kensington Library.

???????????????????????????????Souvenir Programme is a radio sketch show, written by and starring John Finnemore with a supporting cast made up of Margaret Cabourn-Smith (Miranda), Lawry Lewin (Doctor Who), Simon Kane (who has an amazing voice) and Carrie Quinlan (who writes for the Now Show). Unfortunately however only Simon Kane could attend, causing Finnemore to call on his fiends Susie Kane (Bleak Expectations) and Kieran Hodgson (King Maxie in Cabin Pressure).

???????????????????????????????The content was great with some nice new sketches (full of references to Belgium) and a superb (if a bit long-winded) ‘Now you ask me’ tale involving the narrator stopping at a dodgy hotel. Although the show didn’t have quite the same feeling without the full cast, Susie and Kieran filled the gaps wonderfully even though the stumbled somehwat on some of the accents. After the show I met the cast who were lovely and posed for some pictures. Here is me with King Maxie, I mean, Kieran Hodgson!

???????????????????????????????John Finnemore’s Spuvenir Programme Series 4 airs later this year.

John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme Recording – Complete Series 3

IMG_1442John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme is a radio sketch show, written by and starring Mr John Finnemore. Now earlier this year, it was announced that Souvenir Programme had been commissioned a third series and very soon tickets were available to order. Now I think I can say that I am quite a fan of Mr Finnemore, and so I applied for tickets to the recording of all six episodes and was ???????????????????????????????successful!

What I didn’t know however was that the team would be recording sketches multiple ties, either because they wanted to tweak bits, or because previous recordings had gone wrong or maybe simply to give the audience as much as possible. If it were this last reason then I admire the thought, I just feel it gets IMG_1435VERY VERY irritating listening to the same sketches over and over again.

So despite the fact that I pretty much listened to the whole series twice, the sketches themselves were very good. Listeners can look forward to the return of the good old Archers Sketch, a very large family reunion and all the possible outcomes of asking a IMG_1449stranger about their job. It was not just the writing and acting talent which was exceptional in this series, as Susannah Pearse provided excellent music to some great songs which include ‘Red Trousers’ and ‘Spiny Porcupine’.

So all in all I think this series has followed wonderfully in the footsteps of the previous two and I’ll look forward to hearing it Radio 4 where it airs this September.

John Finnemore’s Priory Engagment

945019_612112578807038_1014082939_nJohn Finnemore, a radio comedian known for writing the popular radio sitcom Cabin Pressure, has currently been working on the third series of his popular sketch show ‘John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme’.  After many months working on the new series, John Finnemore took to his fans to tell him which of his new-penned sketches he should keep and which ones should be dropped. Russlecane.jpgTo do this John Finnemore, along with the rest of the cast of Souvenir Programme, presented a series of 4 comedy afternoons in the Priory Tavern, a small pub in Kilburn. There a large crowed of fans of the show amassed themselves to listen to the cast perform the first drafts of many brilliant sketches that may make the show. LaurieLewyn.jpgHaving attended two of these four evenings, I heard some great new material. I’m probably not allowed to say too much over the Internet but I will just say that my favourite sketches included a storm at sea, a stamp collector and Ian McKellen. Apart from hearing new stuff, another bonus of the evenings was that I got the meet some of the great cast and crew. My list of cast CIMG9257autographs was made complete when I met Lawry Lewin and Simon Kane. I also had the pleasure of meeting producer Ed Morrish and composer Susannah Pearse. The third series of John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme is being recorded next month.

Cabin Pressure Series 4 Recording 3

CIMG8653Yesterday I fulfilled one of my long time dreams. I met one of my favourite actors, my role model, my hero. Yesterday I met BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. But let’s start from the beginning, we can’t just skip to the main event.

Me and two friends had journeyed up to London for the recordings of the last two episodes of Cabin Pressure Series 4. CIMG8634We didn’t have tickets but like last time our intention was merely to get into the studios at the end to meet the actors and collect autographs. We also hoped that, like last time, stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Roger Allam would journey down the road to Café Nero to grab themselves a coffee. We positioned ourselves in Pret (‘twas really cold outside) and waited for the chance to see Benedict and Roger. We were half successful as it seems poor little Ben didn’t want a coffee leaving Roger on his own to journey to Nero. We ran ahead to the café where, to look like we were doing something, bought some popcorn and then sat at the window seats. ‘twas then that Roger Allam walked in and ordered a small espresso!!! He then took the window seat next to me!!! Exciting much. However it seems a small espresso is REALLY small and before I had time to take some subtle pictures of him he was gone causing us to rush out a follow him.

CIMG8657The next few hours were quite uneventful. They included wandering round London, using McDonalds toilets and not actually buying anything, looking at the RADA studios from round various corners so we could not be seen and generally passing to time in any way possible.

Soon we knew the recordings would be finis150679_573324692683059_1815122607_nhed so we went up to the RADA studios to see the audience leaving and, taking our chance, walked in.

There we met Anthony Head, Roger Allam, John Finnemore, David Tyler, Stephanie Cole and BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH!

They were all lovely people (especially Anthony). I got loads of photos and two new autographs from CIMG8661those I hadn’t seen before. This included Benedict who, although was in a rush, managed to make my day.

BENEDICT: What’s your name (taking autograph book).

ME: Philip, one ‘l’.

Benedict writes autograph.CIMG8670

BENEDICT: (Handing back autograph book and looking at my face) Thank you Philip.

That was a dream come true! On my third recording (I’ve been to all of them this series although only got in once) I met lovely Benedict. That’s my life’s ambition complete!