The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
January 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7, 2006.
by Jimmy Perry & David Croft
Are You Being Served?
by Jimmy Perry & David Croft
Cast – Dad’s Army
John Griffiths – Captain Mainwaring
Bob Ryder – Sergeant Wilson
Pat Alden – Corporal Jones
David Creedon – Private Frazer
Ray Hopper – Private Godfrey
John Garland – Private Walker
Ryan Lainchbury – Private Pike
Ralph Dawes – Private Sponge
Pete Thompson – Private Hancock
Derek Fraser – The Colonel
Ian White – U Boat Captain
Kevin Isaac – Air Warden Hodges
Simon Druce – Mr. Yeatman the Verger
Judith Berrill – Mrs. Grey
Margaret Pierce – Edith Parish
Joan Pimm – Mrs. Pike
Joan Bearman – Mrs. Fox
Candice Trietsch – Miss Ironside
Lynda Mostyn – Ivy Samways
Mark Flower (Young Wick Member) – U boat Crew
Mark Best (Young Wick Member) – U boat Crew
Cast – Are You Being Served?
Ray Hopper – Mr. Grainger
Mark Best – Mr. Marsh
Kevin Isaac – Mr. Rumbold
John Garland – Mr. Lucas
Kira Brannlund – Miss Brahms
Bob Ryder – Captain Peacock
Margaret Pierce – Mrs. Slocombe
Ian White – Mr. Humphries
Pat Alden – Young Mr. Grace
Jan King – Customer
Tony Brownings – Customer
Candice Trietsch – Nurse
Stage Manager – David Comber
ASM – Olive Smith
Technical Stage Manager – Helen Brewster
Lighting – Mike Medway
Sound – Ian Healey
Properties – Margaret Davy
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Wardrobe – Cherry Briggs
Wardrobe – Margaret Pierce
Set & Technical Team – Sylvie Walder
Set & Technical Team – Nicki Moston
Set & Technical Team – Sheila Neesham
Set & Technical Team – Tracey Holmes
Set & Technical Team – Tony Holmes
Set & Technical Team – Mike Davy
Set & Technical Team – Robert Mitchell
Set & Technical Team – David Collis
Set & Technical Team – David Comber
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Press & Publicity – Lucien Bouchy
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Press & Publicity – Simon Druce
Poster & Programme Design – Judith Berrill
Box Office – Margaret Murrell
Front of House Co-ordinator – Betty Dawes
Programme Note #1: Dad’s Army & Are You Being Served?
The Directors of our two shows have tried to think of clever things to say about the dramatic integrity of their work, the sublime messages of the playwrights and the supreme talents of their cast and technical crews. But what the hell .. this is just good, clean [or fairly clean] fun!
There is something wonderfully British about the situation of the 1940s Home Guard and the situation of the 1970s department store that cries out to be celebrated in great British situation comedy. Messrs Croft, Perry and Lloyd are masters of the art – and Messrs Brownings and Thompson know a good thing when they see it.
Wick Theatre Company loves to do Shakespeare, loves to do serious drama and adult comedy – but it also loves jokes and pussies and stupid boys. We hope you do too!
Review #1: Dad’s Army & Are You Being Served?
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Andy Trotman
Text Header: Unknown
The Barn Theatre was transported back to the Seventies last week as two of Britain’s most popular sitcoms were brought to life.
First up was Mr. Humphries and his fellow shop-workers. The company had obviously worked hard to recreate a believable shop environment as the sets were impressive for such a small operation. This part of the evening focused on the Grace Brothers staff gearing up for their summer holiday in Spain. The physical gags and double entendres never failed to raise a smile. Just as Mr. Humphries is the star of the television series, so he was here. Ian White played a very camp and effeminate salesman perfectly. However, at times the action seemed a little forced and the scenes failed to flow as well as the audience could have hoped for, resulting in smiles rather than outright laughter.
Luckily for the audience, the second half was almost flawless and gave us the famous Dad’s Army episode where the Home Guard troop are instructed to guard a group of German U-boat officers. John Griffiths., as Captain Mainwaring, led the cast well, proving to be adequately stern and deadpan, but it was Bob Ryder, playing Sergeant Wilson, who stole this section. John Le Mesurier had a very distinct voice and character in this show and Ryder did justice throughout.
A great double-bill which was saved by the second half.
Review #2: Dad’s Army & Are You Being Served?
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
Text Header: Unknown
The Wick Theatre Company, following successful staging of Allo Allo and The Darling Buds of May, have once again raided television’s cupboard of sitcom and found stage versions of two more popular programmes. It has to be said that the evening was show of two halves and was not the total success that is expected from this usually reliable company.
It is the dated Are You Being Served? that disappointed, having as it did a very weak script that received and extremely pedestrian production. With few exceptions the acting failed to give life to the familiar characters and they remained two dimensional caricatures. Their antics, which involved preparations for a staff holiday to Spain and the promotion of German goods in the store, drew amused smiles rather than hearty laughter.
It was in the second half that the evening took off with the much loved Dad’s Army and the arrival of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard. here the acting was much stronger with the cast catching the flavour of familiar character rather than blindly impersonating the originals. They were helped by having a much stronger and funnier storyline. Also the production as much tighter and moved at a much slicker pace than the first offering.
John Griffiths made a fine Captain Mainwaring, although he could have given him a bit more blustering pomposity. Particularly pleasing as his bringing out of the more human side of the man in his exchanges with Judith Berrill’s Mrs. Grey. Their scene bore more than a passing nod to Brief Encounters. Bob Ryder captured well the feyness and the mannerisms of Sergeant Wilson whilst David Creedon delighted the audience with his lustful Private Frazer. Two delightful cameos form Ray Hopper are worthy of mention. His excellent portrayal of Mr. Grainger in the first play was well matched by his later playing of Private Godfrey.
Along with, I suspect, the rest of the audience I wanted more when the play ended and I left the theatre feeling that the company would have been better off if they had not ventured into Grace Brother’s store and just stuck to the Walmington church hall, preferably in an extended version of Dad’s Army.
Review #3: Dad’s Army & Are You Being Served?
Publication: Words & Music
Publication Data: Issue 121 – March/April 2006 – page 10
Reviewer: Gordon Bull
Text Header: Hilarious evening at the Barn
You have to be an ardent fan of these two BBC comedies to appreciate the stage versions properly. Personally I have mostly enjoyed Dad’s Army, but rarely watched the Grace Bothers store, which depends for its humour entirely on double entendre in both word and deed and which, in excess, generally bores me.
The cast for the latter was well chosen, with surprisingly close take-offs of the original characters. In particular, Maggie Pierce as Mrs. Slocombe could almost have been stolen from the TV. I can’t help wondering whether it is better to ape the original mannerism and voices, or whether to bring one’s own ideas to the show. I think it must be a very difficult line to tread, especially since the timing of all the interjections is very much down to the individual. Mr Marsh was a little too enthusiastic with his duster and could learn that it is not necessary to be quite so heavy handed with it when dealing with sexual allusion, when a hint of a suggestion is all that is necessary. After all the show is not in any way meant to be totally suggestive; it’s just a light-hearted rude romp. It was not the fault of the actors I suspect, but the material, which inclined me to nod off, it’s so banal! However, it clearly reached its target audience in general. It was a well-devised show and everybody had plenty to do.
Dad’s Army is a completely different cup of tea. The utter exaggerated stupidity of the characters is what makes it work and the cast of the Wick Theatre Company caught its humour from the moment when they marched through the auditorium. A nice touch!
The Barn might well have been the venue for this strange company of Home Guard. Here one felt the characters were more themselves, but again with the difficult task of emulating Mainwaring, Wilson, Jones, Pike, etc. I felt the boss could have been more haughty, and Wilson could have projected his voice more, but he caught the mannerism of the gentle ladies’ man admirably. It was refreshing to be able to use the ladies of the Theatre Company in such a male-orientated environment although they were necessarily under-employed. The main characters came across well, without over doing it. David Creedon worked hard to produce the rasping voice of the idiotic Frazer, and Ray Hopper as the incontinent Godfrey was quite a double.
I would have liked this crazy gang to have had a little more opportunity to show off the characteristics of characters such as Hodges, Sponge, Verger, Pike and Walker, for example, who barely got a look-in. However, they made a very good showing.
I found the writing of ‘Hallo Hallo’ far more stimulating and meaty when WTC did it recently