site search by freefind advanced

 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Silchester Players - 'Allo 'Allo

8th to 9th and 15th to 16th May 2009.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

Silchester's follies Franglais

Long-running TV comedy hits the stage

Silchester Players: 'Allo 'Allo, at Silchester Village Hall, on Friday, May 8, Saturday, May 9, Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16

For their spring production, the players have chosen 'Allo 'Allo, the stage version of the enormously successful long-running TV series of the '80s.

We are introduced to René Artois, a French cafe owner in Nazi-occupied France. René is a man with a lot on his mind. In his cellar he is hiding two British airmen until they can be repatriated by the Resistance. In his kitchen is the priceless painting of The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies, which is hidden in a decaying knockwurst sausage.

His love life is also very complicated - additionally René must keep secret from his wife Edith his long-running affairs with two of his waitresses Mimi and Yvette. The complicated plot involves multiple Hitlers (including a blow-up version), parrots, a dummy cockatoo in a cage that acts as the wireless communication device with London and a very dodgy cigar. The Germans comprise the Colonel, Helga, Herr Flick, and Gruber and the rest of the cast are the Italian Bertorelli, Crabtree ("Good moaning") and Leclerc (he of the immortal line 'it is I, Leclerc!'). Performances of special note were Alan Moorhouse's René; - his French accent was faultless and he again showed his great talent for comic acting. Caroline Martin brought the house down with her brilliant portrayal of Edith's singing, while Jo Sanderson was delightful as the sexy Yvette, with an extremely authentic accent. Helga was played by Sarah Oliver who brought to the role just the right mixture of severity and humour.

Finally, special mention should be made of the backstage crew as this was a particularly difficult production to stage; the London cast of the original production had the luxury of a revolving stage. Also to Keith Graham as director. A most enjoyable evening.