Now how’s this for niche. Back in 1968 David Barry made his debut as Frankie Abbott in the London Weekend Television secondary school sitcom Please Sir. Abbott wanted everyone to think he was a hard nut, but in reality he was a mummy’s boy who just told outrageous fibs to make himself look tough. Barry’s character was one of the best defined of all the cast and was spun on into to The Fenn Street Gang (1971-1973) detailing what Frankie and his pals got up to when they finally left school.
Barry wrote his first TV script for The Fenn Street Gang and moved into writing full-time, but now he’s back as a grown up Frankie in A Day in the Lives of Frankie Abbott which was a big hit at 2016’s Edinburgh Fringe and a revised version will be playing at theatres around the UK later this year. In the show Frankie is still the arch fantasist only now he actually believes the stories he tells his carer Marion (now played by Marie Kelly). Having been lucky enough to attend a recent dress rehearsal, I can reveal that although the play is very funny it’s also quite moving, especially for anyone who has experience coping with dementia sufferers. Do catch this show if you can.
OK now where’s the horror bit I hear you ask. Well Barry has taken Frankie into the world of short films,and very good they are too.
In Frankula (2017) Frankie finds himself drawn into the nightmare world of vampires when his carer Agnes (Hothouse pal Emma Dark) bears her fangs. Also starring Caroline Munro (Dracula AD 1972) and Judy Matheson (Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil). Frankula is available to download at Amazon.
Now Frankie and Agnes are back in Bad Friday where during an Easter day trip from the care home Frankie nicks a little girl’s Easter Egg and finds himself haunted by a whacking huge bunny with a bloody great knife. Also starring Vera Day (Womaneater, Grip of the Strangler) Bad Friday is an affectionate, absurd and very funny send up of the Slasher genre. Like Frankula, Bad Friday was written by David Barry and directed by Jason Read and is available to download ar Amazon.