The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
December 11, 12, 13 & 14, 2002.
by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
David Goodger – Rene
Margaret Ockenden – Edith
Margaret Pierce – Michelle
Claire Wiggins – Mimi
Kati Szeless – Yvette
David Creedon – Leclerc
Kevin Isaac – Crabtree
David Bickers – Herr Flick
Judith Berrill – Helga
Ray Hopper – Colonel
John Barham – Von Schmelling
Peter Winstone – Capt Bertorelli
Peter Thompson – Lt Gruber
Sid Jones – Airman
Linda Mostyn – Peasant
Joan Bearman – Peasant
Bob Ryder – Peasant
Director’s Assistant – Simon Druce
Stage Managers – David Comber
Stage Managers – David Collis
ASM – John Garland
ASM – Olive Smith
Lighting Design – Mike Medway
Lighting Operation – Pat Lyne
Lighting Operation – Chris Grey
Lighting Operation – Mike Medway
Sound Design & Operation – Simon Snelling
Choreography – Joan Bearman
Set Building – David Comber
Set Building – David Collis
Set Building – Brian Box
Set Building – Mike Davy
Set Building – Marc Lewis
Set Painting – Judith Berrill
Set Painting – Sheila Neesham
Set Painting – Frances Thorne
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Properties – Margaret Davy
Wardrobe Team – Cherry Briggs
Wardrobe Team – Margaret Pierce
Wigs & Hair – Sheila Neesham
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Press & Publicity – Judith Berrill
Box Office – Margaret Murrell
Front of House – Betty Dawes
Programme Note #1: Allo ‘Allo
“Listen very carefully, I vill say zis only once!”
Look out for members of the French resistance, German officers and escaping British airmen, down at the Barn. They’re all characters from that popular TV programme ‘Allo ‘Allo and this production of the stage version promises to be equally hilarious.
Publicity #1: ‘Allo ‘Allo
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: November 22 2002 issue – Leisure Scene Section – page 3
Correspondent: Jamie Hailstone
“Ooh la la – comedy you can’t resist”
Text Header: “Ooh la la – comedy you can’t resist”
NOW listen very carefully. I shall say this only once – Wick Theatre Company are putting on a production of the classic BBC sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo.
Southwick’s Barn Theatre will be transformed into René’s Café for the stage play written by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft. The plot revolves around the painting of the Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies, by the master painter Van Klomp, and a couple of knockwurst sausages.
Under the masterful direction of Tony Brownings, the play will stick to the original format, with a few special touches that are all his own. All of the cast are well known on the Barn stage, with René Artois being played by David Goodger. His wife Edith is played by Margaret Ockenden. Margaret Pierce appears as Michelle of the French Resistance. Claire Wiggins and Kati Szeless are waitresses Mimi and Yvette. David Creedon plays master of disguise Leclerc and Kevin Isaac is police officer Crabtree. David Bickers plays Herr Flick of the Gestapo and Judith Berrill is Helga. Ray Hopper is a German army Colonel, John Barham is General von Schmelling, Peter Thompson is Lieutenant Gruber and Peter Winstone is Captain Bertorelli.
‘Allo ‘Allo is at the barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre, from Wednesday December 11, to Saturday, December 14. All performances start at 7.45pm. Tickets are £6 from the box office on 01273 597094.
Review #1: ‘Allo ‘Allo
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: December 19 2002 issue – Leisure Scene Section – page 4
Reviewer: Jamie Hailstone
Text Header: Ooh la la! ‘Allo ‘Allo est trѐs manifique
NOW LISTEN very carefully, I shall say zees only once – Wick Theatre Company’s production of ’Allo ’Allo was très magnifique!
Wick’s four night run at the Barn Theatre was sold out last week and expectations were high as the audience sat down to enjoy Wednesday night’s performance. We were not disappointed, as Director Tony Brownings and his talented cast recreated the classic BBC sitcom by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft before our eyes.
David Goodger proved to be the perfect Rene, torn between a multitude of lovers, a fallen Madonna and several knockwurst sausages. Margaret Ockenden played his wife, the all-singing Edith. Katie Szeless and Claire Wiggins were spot-on as Café Rene’s legendary waitresses Yvette and Mimi.
Keeping the resistance going were David Creedon, who played the master of disguise Le Clerc and Margaret Pierce was the mysterious Michelle. The Colonel was brought to life by Ray Hopper, and Peter Winstone was excellent as Italy’s greatest war hero, Captain Bertorelli.
The dastardly Herr Flick of the Gestapo was played by David Bickers and Helga was portrayed by Judith Berrill. Von Schmelling was played by John Barham, Crabtree by Kevin Isaac and Lieut Gruber by Peter Thompson. Bob Ryder tinkled the ivories as the café’s pianist and the British airmen and peasants were played by Sid Jones, Joan Bearman, Rosemary Bouchy, Lynda Mostyn and John Garland.
The whole cast gave first-rate performances, and the audience laughed throughout, before disappearing like phantoms into the night at the end.
Review #2: ‘Allo ‘Allo
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: written but never published
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
The decision by the Wick Theatre Company to put on a stage version of a TV sit-com was a courageous one in view of the fact that the show is so well known and loved – the entire run being a sell out proves this.
The audience came with a familiarity of the characters involved and high expectations of how they should be played. In this production they were not disappointed. All their favourites were there together with catch-phrases so familiar that one could almost sense the audience silently mouthing them.
The plot concerning a stolen painting hidden in a sausage, I felt, was a little too familiar and the evening would have been enhanced if the writers, Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, had come up with a new story line. However, the presence of giant garlic sausages, not to mention an inflatable Hitler and a bicycle pump, did provide two hilarious and outrageous scenes that had the audience howling with laughter.
The cast on the whole matched the challenge of recreating the originals whilst bringing to their characters subtle originality. David Goodger, whose performance as René Artois, was impressive and set the standard matched by others in the cast, particularly by Peter Thompson’s masterly underplaying of Lieut Gruber. It would have been so easy for him to go over the top with this camp character.
There were too many other good performances for me to comment on individually. However it might be helpful to comment about the performance of Kevin Isaac as Crabtree, the English Agent pretending to be a French Policeman whose attempts to speak French result in mispronunciations that are comic. It was felt that the full comic potential of these lines was not always realised due to the mispronounced words occasionally not being pointed sufficiently. Guidance needs to be given on this aspect of technique.
The technical side of sound and lighting together with the set was of the usual high standard that one associates with the Wick and the numerous scene changes were slickly achieved.
Whilst the show provided a fun evening and an ideal pre-Christmas entertainment, it was also an over-long one that could have been tightened up especially in the second half. There should have been some trimming done, either by the writers or by the director.
An example of this was the scene in the cinema that only existed to serve the punch-line of the mouse-traps on the suspender belt trapping the fingers of the groping Italian. The writing in the lead-up was very weak and would have played better by incorporating it an earlier scene in the office, thus eliminating a scene change. Similar weak writing did a disservice to the acting efforts of the cast in scenes that just fizzled out.
That aside, the evening was fully appreciated by an audience that showed its pleasure through prolonged applause at the curtain call.
Review #2: ‘Allo ‘Allo
Publication: Words & Music
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Gordon Bull
You certainly can’t fault this excellent cast who were nearly all dead ringers for the originals – David Goodger [René] and Kati Szeless [Yvette] in particular. Maintaining the pseudo-franglais accent was no problem and added to the fun, as did the fantastic ‘good moaning’ gendarme!
This particular edition was certainly the bawdiest ever. Sausages and sucking, knocking shop and stocking top, zips and suspenders, knockers and knickers, bums and boobs, flesh and flash, groping and prodding, winking and wanking, duck and dick – it was all there to contribute to the knockabout humour, creasing up the sophisticated adults as well as innocent youngsters. The sheer vapid suggestiveness of Gruber [Peter Thompson] and seductive sexuality of Helga [Judith Berrill] wowed us or worried us. Flick [David Bickers] perhaps could have camped up the Gestapo element a bit more, whereas Edith’s [Margaret Ockenden] superb tuneless vocal renditions brought the house down with the aid of piano basher Bob Ryder.
Surrounded by an authentically costumed team and a fine set to work to, René, the café proprietor played his part to perfection. This was true adult panto. [Sadly it is creeping insidiously and ever more suggestively into traditional kids pantomime.] Only lack of space prevents me from introducing every member of this talented cast who, under director Tony Brownings, thoroughly deserved the four-night sell-out.