The Met, Bury

LONG before Netflix and boxsets, the wireless and radio plays were king.

Hancock and Co, at The Met in Bury on Thursday evening, takes you back to a time when storytelling was simpler — but no less entertaining.

The show is performed by James Hurn (pictured below), billed as ‘a master at creating the accents and personas of iconic 20th century British favourites’.

Bury Times: Actor and impressionist James Hurn

This he does with spot-on accuracy and apparent ease, mimicking the likes of Tony Hancock, star of 1950s and ‘60s BBC radio comedy Hancock's Half Hour; Carry on films trio Sid James, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams, as well as comedian Bill Kerr.

Bury Times: Carry On legends Sid James and Dame Barbara Windsor

Sid James pictured with Barbara Windsor 

Hurn’s show consists of one classic episode of Hancock’s Half Hour and two episodes he has written in the style of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson — the radio show’s creators.

The entertaining tales of a metal detecting calamity, threatening letters to Hancock and a Halloween night have you hooked throughout.

‘Close your eyes and it’s like the real people,’ whispers my mum. She is right, even if you do feel like a bit of a wally sat there with your eyes shut!

You find yourself immersed in the story and hanging on Hurn’s every word, from beginning to end.

Voices don’t come much more iconic than Sid James’ and Hurn really does do it justice, even carrying off his iconic laugh to a tee.

The Box, The Met’s 80 capacity space, was the perfect venue for an intimate and cosy show of this nature.

The theatre itself is looking polished and revitalised a year after its multimillion-pound refurbishment.

An enjoyable evening with a talented performer, in a lovely setting.