Rowan Atkinson: The New Revue Tour: Theatre Royal, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1986
Radioactive: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2016
When I watched Rowan Atkinson on stage during his 1986 tour, for some characters he was playing he needed a foil. Former Have I Got News For You host and comedy actor proved the perfect foil. With his tall, imposing presence, Deayton was perfect at playing authority figures that were often frustrated by Atkinson’s antics.
Deayton made his return to the stage some years later at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016 when the successful radio comedy series Radioactive was revived for a stage run. Deayton starred alongside other regulars Helen Atkinson Wood, Michael Fenton Stevens and Phil Pope. The show written by Deayton and the late Geoffrey Perkins based around a spoof Radio station was presented in the form of two half-hour episodes which included sketches, songs and on-air banter. Characters like station host Mike Channel (played by Deayton), fatally inaccurate cookery pundit Anna Daptor (Atkinson Wood) and terribly shy DJ Martin Brown (Fenton Stevens) were all lovingly brought back to life as were hard-hearted caricatures of Status Quo (performing Boring Song) and The Bee Gees (performing Meaningless Songs in Very High Voices). The show was extremely funny, very clever and a celebration of media satire.