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Who would have thought a comedy set in hell could be so funny? Not me for one. Yet that's exactly what this comedy, first broadcast on BBC radio 4 precisely is. In it regular Radio 4 comedian Andy Hamilton takes on the guise of Satan as we explore the insane rather busy world of hell.
Fans from previous series will remember the daemon Scumspawn (played by Robert Duncan from Drop the Dead Donkey and Casualty) and the "most vile human ever" - Thomas played by Jimmy Mulville (who founded Hat Trick Productions, responsible for "Have I got news for you" amonst others.
This series though sees the arrival of a new character Edith - played by Annette Crosby (best known for playing the wife in One foot in the grave). Here she is playing a no nonsense academic historian who refuses to accept she's dead - though the facts suggest she committed suicide. She's definitely a trouble causer and she's not afraid of Satan one bit.
Finally they reach an agreement - she'll do his autobiography and he'll investigate how she died.
This is the premise for many wild gags into the nature of heaven and hell and also a chance for Satan to take on some various guises in the world of men to uncover the truth about Edith's death. This is something that is done particularly well.
The other massively enjoyable element though has to be satan's take on the bible as he sets the record straight - what does it really say? Have men just interpreted it all wrong.
Satan turns out to be a very likable character as you sympathise with him trying to deal with deniers as they arrive and as he speaks to famous figures throughout history and gets them to admit what they actually did - did David really slay the giant Golliath? What was god's real opinion of Man? Be prepared to meet many famous figures from history - as you never imagined them before.
There is a little side plot in which the soppy daemon Scumspawn tries to find a good side to Thomas which is also very funny, but needs more of an insight into the show if you're new to it.
The main thrust of the show is very easy to pick up on though and this was the first series I listened to. Introducing a new major character also makes it a good place to pick the series up with as well. For regular listeners there's a slight change in gear for the show, whilst remaining very funny.
In some ways I actually prefer this series to previous ones as well as everyone is now well settled into their roles and pitches their performances perfectly.
In places it is quite silly and the humour is at times verging on slapstick in audio form, but this version of satan certainly knows how to have fun.
The whole set is packaged as 3CD's, with 2 episodes per CD in a standard clear plastic case with a leaflet just giving a bit of detail on the cast and the running times. The series can also be easily downloaded if you want it for your ipod. Either way for anyone who enjoys a good laugh I would whole-heatedly recommend this series.
The sixth series of the popular radio sitcom set in hell.
I have been a fan of Old Harry's Game since it began, and love the wit and imagination put into it by Andy Hamilton, it's creator.
If you are new to the series, it centres mainly around the devil himself (played with great wit and charm by Hamilton, and some of his more recent and troublesome inmates. During the first few series, the focus was on Thomas (Jimmy Mulville), the most vile human who ever lived, and The Professor (James Grout), a lovely man damned solely for his atheism, who strikes up an interesting friendship with Satan. Sadly, Grout left the cast after series 4.
It was hard to see how the series could continue without the wonderful character of the professor, but with series 6 comes the surprising new edition of the humanitarian historian character Edith, beautifully played by Anette Crosby. She really lifts the series to a new level. I was worried that she would be too similar to the professor, but her interactions with Thomas and Satan bring an entirely new dynamic to the show.
Yes, they are still recycling some of the same old devil/hell jokes, but Andy Hamilton isn't out of fresh ideas yet!
This is the complete sixth series of the fiendishly funny award-winning comedy, starring Andy Hamilton and Annette Crosbie. 'One of the great comic creations of recent years'. - "Sunday Telegraph". All six episodes from the sixth series of BBC Radio 4's Sony Award-winning comedy set in Hell. It's not easy being Satan. There are the long hours (that stretch into eternity), and Hell seems to have more admissions than it can cope with. One of the new arrivals is Edith, a historian, athlete and humanitarian. And she's trouble: she refuses to believe she's dead, she knows Thomas and she's not afraid of Satan. But will the Grand Tour, which includes the Pit of Musicians, the Lake of Fire and the Pit of Health and Safety Inspectors, finally make her realise where she's ended up?At least Satan still knows how to have his fun: he's sneaked more teeth into Cherie Blair's smile. Written by and starring Andy Hamilton (as Satan), this bestselling series co-stars Annette Crosbie as Edith, Jimmy Mulville as Thomas and Robert Duncan as Scumspawn. A fiery furnace of wicked one-liners and scorching satire, "Old Harry's Game" is the insider's guide to Hell.