All Bar Luke. Luke Walsall (Tim Key).

All Bar Luke

Monologue comedy drama written by and starring Tim Key. Social loser Luke Walsall aims, but struggles, to climb the social pecking order

Comedy Drama
2006 - 2009  (BBC Radio 4)
17 (3 series)
Tim Key
Tim Key
Angel Eye Media

Luke Walsall missed the education boat, never got out of Cheveley, and spends his weekends as the hapless designated driver for his ungrateful friends. Sipping his Coke and chatting hyperactively, while they drink themselves into absurdity, Luke struggles, with excruciating awkwardness, to climb the macho pecking order.

Each episode of All Bar Luke covers the dying minutes of another nightmare evening for Luke. Whether he's trapped with the hen party from hell or pouring his heart out to a cab driver - only Luke's voice is picked out of the late night hubbub.

Our Review: What is most notable about All Bar Luke is that you only get to hear one voice - that of loser Luke Walsall (played by writer Tim Key). This provides an interesting angle on every situation, as it is through Luke's responses to the questions he is asked that you slowly begin to understand just what an awful situation he has found himself in each time.

Key's performance is spot on, nervous giggle and all. The result is the listener is steered into feeling both frustrated at Luke for not grabbing the most out of life (for example, in one episode it is obvious a woman fancies Luke, but he hasn't spotted it), and also sad on behalf of the character.

Our only criticism of these fifteen minute episodes is that, although amusing, they do manage to leave the more sensitive feeling a bit down, as Luke shows just how bleak and lonely life can be for those without friends and family around them - although no doubt intended by the writer, that we only hear one voice through the series merely consolidates this, and can make some of the 'conversations' quite confusing.

Sadly All Bar Luke has now come to an end, but at least the final half-hour episode provided a fitting finale for such a great character and programme.