Just A Quickie with...Rory Muvihill on the charming art of playing Sergeant Wilson

WHEN Pick Me Up Theatre re-create three Dad's Army episodes at 41 Monkgate, Rory Mulvihill, perennial leading man of the York stage, will play Sergeant Wilson, the John Le Mesurier role, in the 50th anniversary production from tomorrow to September 29.

Would you mind awfully answering a few questions, Rory?

Are you a Dad's Army enthusiast?

"My love for Dad's Army is rooted in a nostalgia for those Saturday family teatimes in front of the telly. The iconic theme song invariably transports me back to the late Sixties and early Seventies and evokes a silent tear for those lost times."

Which is your favourite episode?

"It's got to be Mum's Army. If you watch the original closely, you will see some of the extras and minor roles enjoying the principal performances as if they were in the audience rather than the cast. Hysterical."

What’s it like portraying such an iconic character as Sergeant Wilson?

"Ha ha! An impossible act to follow, I suppose.I hope I capture enough of the essence of John Le Mesurier's Sergeant Wilson to keep diehard fans happy, but without completely sacrificing any personal input."

How are you preparing for the part? Are you watching or listening to recordings?

"I've watched all the episodes which have cropped up regularly recently because of the 50th anniversary, and this does help to get a feel for the character.

"The more significant preparation, however, has flowed from the interaction with the other characters, as encouraged by those marvellous scripts."

Sergeant Wilson is clever but also can be contrarry, so how do you deal with his idiosyncrasies?

"This is so true! Within just a few lines he can move from being as frustrated as Mainwaring with some aspect of platoon behaviour, to demonstrating complicity in the exact same problem - and totally without apology or a sense of irony!

"No point in overthinking that, though. It's not Samuel Beckett (thank God). Just say the lines, Rory, and hope the audience laugh!"

What do you think of the Pick Me Up cast? Is the show well cast?

"No! They're all rubbish!"

Given that there will be some serious Dad's Army fans in the audience, what would you say to them about Pick Me Up's show?

"Please just go with the flow, and we will all have the best time."

Pick Me Up Theatre present Dad's Army 50th Anniversary Show, John Cooper Studio, 41 Monkgate, York, tomorrow to September 29. Tickets: £16, concessions £14, on 01904 623568 or at pickmeuptheatre.com. Evening performances start at 7.30pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2.30pm.