'Allo 'Allo

February 2011


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'Allo 'Allo - by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft
Performed - February 16th to February 19th 2011 at Blackfriars Theatre 

Synopsis
In a small cafe, in occupied France, the harassed proprietor, Rene Artois, is fighting his own War. With the German army in residence in the bar, Rene is risking his neck to aid the Resistance by hiding two British airmen and a radio transmitter upstairs. As if this wasn't enough, Rene has also got involved in hiding a priceless painting in a garlic sausage, which even now, is being sniffed out by the Gestapo. But Rene's real problem is his wife, Edith, and what she will do to him when she finds out about the affairs he is having with his two sexy waitresses, Mimi and Yvette. 

Review
This was a highly entertaining performance of the well-known work of David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd which was featured on television from 1982 – 1992 and still remains extremely popular today. Skilfully directed and well interpreted, this production contained many examples of precise timing that is so much easier to achieve with the editing processes of television as opposed to a live performance in which immense concentration and swift responses are required. There was really excellent characterisation from the principals who, despite having to adopt accents, delivered their lines with clear diction. The costumes were carefully chosen and appropriate; the make-up well applied. I loved Mimi’s hair style which was as ‘sexy’ as the Colonel’s ‘wiglet’ was comic. Paul Gibson’s set was superb and well dressed, with the stage crew making the many scene changes efficiently and quietly; there were a couple of minor glitches with the sound and lighting but these did not seriously detract from the activity on stage. A very good performance that was exceedingly well received by an enthusiastic audience and for which the Society deserves much credit.
Peter Breach NODA 17/2/2011

Boston Playgoers’ production of 1990s comedy series hits all the right notes. I shall this only once…’Allo ‘Allo is a must-see play
You know a show is successful when you struggle to buy a ticket for a Friday night. I was lucky to get the last ticket and even more so to see a play that had me and the rest of the audience in stitches for the whole night.

Boston Playgoers brought to the life the smash hit TV series ‘Allo ‘Allo, complete with the Fallen Madonna with the “big boobies” and a large Knockwurst sausage.

You know when you have got the casting right when the audience clap before you open your mouth and this happened at the start of the play when Stephen Bromby came through the curtain as Crabtree, the inept English secret agent dressed as a French Gendarme. He delivered his mixed-up lines with such aplomb that you couldn’t wait to see him appear to see what line he would come up with next.

Dave Edgar played Rene and, complete with a prosthetic belly and bald patch, he brought a fantastic comic timing to the part that carried the show brilliantly at a pace that kept the laughter flowing all night. The scene with the extremely large Knockwurst sausage will stay with many of us for some time to come.

Jo Carling as Rene’s wife, Edith, suitably sang as flat as a pancake in her cabaret, which was reminiscent of an episode of X Factor and perfectly accurate to the original, not to mention highly amusing.

The set was simple yet effective, complete with a bedroom suspended at the rear and a sliding flat complete with a swastika for the scenes with the Germans. The scene in the cinema was also worthy of note, complete with cinema seats and a Herr Flick in an usherettes outfit.

The remaining cast performed their roles with great enthusiasm and accuracy to the original TV show and should be applauded.
Director Mike Sheridan-Shinn and all the production team should be very proud of their production as they accurately recreated a piece of classic 1990s comedy and provided a fantastic night of entertainment for the people of Boston.
P.J. Roberts – Boston Target 2/3/2011

Cast
Actors names on right:

Rene - David Edgar
Edith – Jo Carling
Yvette - Kathryn Kibby
Leclerc - Bob Green
Michelle - Rachel Pick
Mimi - Rachel Rowett
Colonel Kurt von Strohm - Andy Hall
Captain Alberto Bertorelli - Scott Kibby
Herr Otto Flick - Dan Poulson
Helga - Melissa Marlowe
Lieutenant Hubert Gruber - Philip Landshoft 
General von Schmelling – Matt Barnes
Crabtree - Stephen Bromby
Peasants / Customers - Marilyn Cobb, John Lingard, Jimmy Sheridan-Shinn, Ally Sheridan-Shinn
Piano Player – Marilyn Cobb
1st Airman / German soldier – Chris Hunt 
2nd Airman / German soldier – Mike Sheridan-Shinn

Production Team

Director - Mike Sheridan-Shinn
Co-Producers - Marilyn Cobb
Stage Manager - Wayne Waite / Charlotte Argyll
Stage Design - Paul Gibson
Stage Construction - Members of the Society 
Stage Crew - 
Costume - Violet Truelove Wardrobe
Furniture & Properties - Alma Watts / Liz Worsley
Lighting - Paul Gibson 
Sound - John Knight
Poster  & Programme - Melissa Marlowe