Newport Playgoers plan to whisk audiences back to ancient Pompeii where saucy shenanigans are played out against the backdrop of an ominously rumbling volcano.

Up Pompeii, which launches Playgoers’ 93rd season, was a hugely popular comedy TV series starring Frankie Howerd, and few who saw it can forget the wonderful characters whose names speak for themselves: Ludicrus, Ammonia, Nauseus, Erotica, Voluptua, Senna and Suspenda.

Orchestrating both plot and characters is the head slave Lurcio, who becomes embroiled in the sexual liaisons of his master’s household, as all its members cheat, double cross and generally misbehave. Lurcio conveys his thoughts to the audience through a series of innuendos and double entendres while trying to help his master’s daughter Erotica, rescue escaped slave girl, Voluptua, listen to Nauseus’s love poetry and enlist the help of local nymphomaniac Suspenda.

The play was originally written for Frankie Howerd to repeat his success in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, in which he played a similar role. If you like your history treated in a light-hearted and somewhat risqué manner, this is the play for you.

‘Up Pompeii’ is at the Dolman Theatre from Tuesday 8th – Saturday 12th September at 7.15 pm, with a matinee performance on Saturday at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit


Coming Soon From Playgoers

Oct 13 - 17: Charles Dickens' The Haunting by Hugh Janes

Nov 10-15: The LadyKillers by Graham Lineham




Pictured in rehearsals for ‘Up Pompeii’ are Paul Cotton (Lurcio), Eamonn Corbett (Ludicrous), Olivia Harvey (Erotica), Gwen Livingstone (Ammonia), James Powell-Jenkins (Nauseus), Ryan Salter (Kretinus) and Owen Barrett (Trecherus).