Are You Being Served?February 2004
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Are You Being Served? - by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
Performed - Feb 11th to Feb 14th 2004 at Blackfriars Theatre
Double-entendres non-stop as the motley crew of the Grace Brothers department store prepare for a sale of German goods, then depart for their staff holiday at a one-star hotel in Spain. But will the heat, Spanish crumpet, giant woof-n-poofs, and randy revolutionaries prove too much for our lot?
Playgoers 'serve' up some big laughs
Are you being served? is the latest production from Boston Playgoers Society to appear at Blackfriars Arts Centre this past weekend.
Playing to a packed out theatre on Saturday night, the cast seemed fully confident in their ability and well versed in the antics of their famous predecessors.
The script, which was full of screwball comedy and innuendo, was obviously nodding toward much of the farce and hilarity that made the show so popular in the first place without trying to give it a modern update, which surely would have destroyed most of its humour.
Although most of the characters were cast well, Stuart Farrar seemed to particularly enjoy his role as Mr Humphries, and the interplay between Glyn Ruskin as Mrs Slocombe and Melissa Marlowe as Miss Brahms was excellent throughout, raising some of the biggest laughs of the night. During the second act, set quite unexpectedly in Spain, Phil Landshoft hammed up his performance of bumbling revolutionary Cesar perfectly, and shared some comic moments with Peter Kay as Don Bernardo.
While the set design was able to capture the feel of the original, during the second half of the show the action moved between two spheres of action. While all the sets were well designed, the stage hands could have been a tad more subtle. That said, only a minor criticism in an otherwise excellent performance.
Ross Wilkinson, Boston Target 18/2/2004
Actors names on right:
Mr Mash - David Edgar
Mr Lucas - Scott Kibby
Mr Rumbold - John Molson
Mr Grainger - Patrick Hall
Captain Peacock - Peter Grimshaw
Miss Brahms - Melissa Marlowe
Mrs Slocombe - Glyn Ruskin
Mr Humphries - Stuart Farrar
Mr Grace - John Richards
Lady Customer - Ros Blowers
Male Customer - John Lingard
Nurse - Melanie Clark
Don Bernardo - Peter Kay
Cesar - Phil Landshoft
Conchita - Gemma Topham
Taeresa - Lorna Molson
Director - Adam Priestley / Judith Hall
Stage Manager - Melanie Clark
Stage Crew - Adam Landshoft, Wayne Waite, Andy Hoskins, Dave Edgar
Set - Adam Priestley, Paul Gibson, Norman Priestley, Members of the Society
Costume - Glyn Ruskin, Sandra Priestley
Properties - John Lingard, Wayne Waite
Lighting - Paul Gibson
Sound - Paul Gibson
Poster - John Jackson, Sam Zwemmer
Programme - Patrick Hall
Photography - Mark Taylor
Make Up - Molly Barrett, Sheila Simm
Prompt - Judith Hall