Menston Green is an audio comedy focussing on the trials and tribulations of the production team behind a failing soap opera. Charged with reversing the sliding show’s fortunes, newly appointed nice-but-dim producer Dale Delaney assembles an unlikely production team and cast, who then proceed to bend the soap to their various wills with disastrous and (hopefully) hilarious results.
To be honest, this is only partially successful. Very often the humour descends from funny to just plain silly – for example, the way Delaney recruits his script writer and director is just daft, as is the direction in which he takes the soap. However, there’s a strange internal logic to the story, and while none of the characters seem to go on any kind of journey – their drives and aspirations change not one iota from start to finish – the show itself does in a weird kind of way, with a semi-triumphant ending for one of the antiheroes that feels not inappropriate, if a little disappointing for anyone rooting for the soap itself.
Performances aren’t bad throughout – and of course, special guest star Colin Baker as the Controller of Programming puts in his usual bravura interpretation of his role. Similarly, the sound design throughout is excellent. (There seems to be little I don’t say that about these days, so obviously this is an industry in which the UK can still be seen to excel.)
Overall, it’s an entertaining, if slightly silly, hour of ones life, and there probably can’t be too many of those.