Spike played the part of the halfcrazy Ben Gunn - who knows about the treasure. Reviewed briefly in the Februry 1962
edition of Theatre World, Spikes performance was described as -
'Suffice to say that Spike Milligan's Benn Gunn delights the children, while Sean Scully is an imperturbable Jim.'
Writer Wally K Daly, an actor and ASM at London's Mermaid Theatre in the sixties, remembers the impact made by Spike
Milligan's play The Bed Sitting Room - which faced battles with the censors - and recalls a particularly memorable trip to
buy costume supplies
The 1963 production of The Bed Sitting Room, written by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus, was scheduled to rehearse
for only a fortnight and no more than three hours each day. The argument was that this post-atomic comedy would be dead on
its feet through constant repetition if it was rehearsed more.
None of the cast at the Mermaid Theatre argued with this. Lots of time off is not usually viewed as a problem.
Getting the script accepted by the Lord Chamberlain's office, however, was something of a problem.
The usual wheeze of putting in lots of swearing and unacceptable business for the censor to cut out - so that
he would not actually notice the stuff you were trying to get past him - did not seem to be working very well. Some fine censorial
stupidities developed as the script went backwards and forwards between the theatre and the censor's office.
The Daz song in the play had the immortal line 'You get all the dirt off the back of your shirt with Daz, Daz,
Daz'. This was deemed to be unacceptable by the Lord Chamberlain's office. The compromise suggested by Spike - 'You get all
the dirt off the front of your shirt' - was considered to be fine.
Watching rehearsals, I realised what everyone already knew - that Spike Milligan is a comedy genius. My true
delight was to watch him perform, night after night, from the wings.
One piece of business was put in on the first night when a mote of dust flew down from the flies and Spike nonchalantly
swatted it away with the fly swat he carried. By the end of the run, it was a silent, showstopping ten-minute routine. Genius.