In this hilarious podcast, satirising programmes like Inside the Actors Studio, Ben Kavanagh plays award-nominated national treasure Sir Holworth Felixstowe-Smooth, who guides us through his decades-long career as an actor upon the British stage. Starting in repertory theatre, Sir Holworth tells us more than a few “whispers from the wings” with other acting luminaries, including Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, and others.

Unlike most comedy podcasts, the scripting here is finely crafted and incredibly quick: this is not a podcast to have on in the background; many of the finest one-liners are utterly throwaway, and it’s a case of don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

As a solo performance, it’s remarkable: the young Kavanagh is completely believable as fey, sozzled, entitled Sir Holworth, a creation so complete it’s hard to believe it’s fiction. There are more than a few nods to Sir Ian McKellen’s idiosyncratic voice, especially in Sir Holworth’s closing catchphrase: “And so, to you, I say, good day.”

In addition to the topical, 30-minute lectures themselves, each episode features a quick word from a “sponsor”, which ranges from “Scotch Whiskey” to “Mates“, the beloved nineties sitcom, returning to Netflix. It is in these segments, and other places too, that the finely observed satire often tips over into absolute lunacy.

Listen to Talking Theatre: Whispers from the Wings on Spotify or YouTube.

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