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.
After 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!
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.
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, 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. To 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. Having 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 autographs 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.