Comedy in a care home: the standups taking slapstick into new territory

The residents were expecting bingo. Instead they got lessons in strawberry spitting, a Railway Children spoof – and a stuntman stripping to his underpants…

Monday afternoon is usually bingo time at the Madelayne Court care home, in the village of Broomfield, near Chelmsford. So today’s activity comes as a surprise to many comfortably seated residents: striding on stage in front of them is former Neighbours actor Nathan Lang – he’s dressed as a stuntman and preparing to leap through a hoop he’s pretending is on fire.

“You’ve lost it!” hollers one elderly spectator, and Lang does look momentarily perplexed. How do you deal with hecklers here?

‘What responses will they get? says a resident called Margaret. ‘Probably dead silence’

‘Ever milked a cow?’ Helen Duff asks a woman called Audrey – and suddenly memories of her life on a farm re-emerge

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