Hancock plays Britain’s safest man in Octopus Soup!

Published: 27 January 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

A “razor-sharp” comedy featuring Nick Hancock, Octopus Soup! by Jack Milner and Mark Stevenson, is to have its première at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.

Hancock, who played Dan in Chris England and Arthur Smith’s An Evening with Gary Lineker at London’s Duchess Theatre in 1991, takes the role of insurance consultant Seymour, the safest man in Britain. He’s in the last-chance saloon and everything rests on an important conference call. But then Marvin, a bungling burglar with bad knees, begins to have an influence.

The cast also includes Paul Bradley who played Nigel Bates in EastEnders and Elliot Hope in Holby City, Gillian Bevan, Carolyn Backhouse and Eric Richard who played Sergeant Bob Cryer for 20 years in The Bill. But star billing goes to octopus Terry who has been constructed by a puppet-maker in Leeds.

Joe Harmston who directs said, “it’s going to be a very classic, brightly coloured octopus—something like the one in the film Octopussy. And as you can imagine, there’ll probably be more than one because we’re going to need different puppets to be able to do different things.”

Octopus Soup! is the second play by Milner and his first collaboration with Stevenson. It is produced by the Belgrade Theatre and Simon Fielder, with design by Anthony Lamble and lighting by Rob Casey.

It runs at the Belgrade Theatre from Saturday 2 until Saturday 16 February.