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

Production Team

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