Ying Tong photo by Jim Roese

Ying Tong – A Walk With The Goons

by Roy Smiles
directed by Jiri Zizka

February 13 – March 16, 2008

Before Monty Python and Saturday Night Live, The Goon Show made an entire nation go crazy with laughter! During the 1950s, BBC’s famous radio series The Goon Show had England laughing week after week, greatly influencing Monty Python and the Beatles, among others – and paved the way for sketch comedy as we know it today.  With Ying Tong, rising UK playwright Roy Smiles brilliantly chronicles the Goons’ surge from cult status to raving success, showcasing the series’ trademark surrealism and profound silliness.  As the curtain rises, we find Goon writer and “godfather of alternative comedy” Spike Milligan going gaga from the strain of creating comic genius.  Wild fantasies of Jewish leprechauns, gay Vikings, and malevolent Morris dancers are springing from his fragmented brain.  Fellow Goons, including future Dr. Strangelove Peter Sellers, scramble to recover Milligan’s missing marbles and save his sanity.  Ying Tong took England by storm when it premiered in London; Wilma audiences will be the very first in this country to share its inspired madness.  Needle nardle noo!


“A treat for the eye and ear!”
— City Paper
“A brilliant play receiving a brilliant U.S. premiere! The laughs don’t quit even as the curtain’s coming down!”
“Great art is currently on display at the Wilma! Beckingham’s performance [as Peter Sellers] raises the bar on comedic acting in this town for years to come!”
— Broad Street Review