'Allo Allo'

Date 28th January 2023
Society Benenden Players
Venue Benenden Village Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Bev Beveridge
Written By Croft and Lloyd

Report

Author: Gordon Harris

How much you enjoy the stage show 'Allo 'Allo is almost entirely dependent upon how intrinsically funny you find a sausage to be, given that the sitcom’s original writers, Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft have left no entendre undoubled in this faithful revival.

If you’ve seen the TV original – and, let’s face it, who hasn’t – you will know exactly what to expect. Indeed, the fact that the original series relied on so many recurring scenarios means there’s an inevitable sense of déjà vu as the painting of the Fallen Madonna with the big boobies is concealed in a knockwurst. A little effort has been made to make the scripts more theatrical. We are ‘treated’ to one of Mme Edith’s real cabaret performances, and Herr Flick’s impressive dance number does the Gestapo proud, thanks to his energetic movements. There are a few other flourishes in the production, too: an instant freeze-frame to allow Rene to explain the plot points, a silly inflatable Hitler.

Benenden Players' production is a different take on this ‘Allo Allo’. Directed by Bev Beveridge in the round, this worked partly on the floor of the hall and partly on stage. I felt that this slowed the production down. It was a splendid idea though. Bev you chose all your cast well and they did you proud, of course there were a few missed lines and prompts required, but did it matter? No, it all helped the comedy. Rene (Stuart Collier) was word perfect and carried the lead on his shoulders perfectly. With 17 in the cast it’s difficult for me to mention all, but you all carried good characterizations of your allotted parts. I could see you had all put a lot of time into each of them. Costumes were to period and the lighting and sound were adequate for the venue. Benenden Players ‘Allo Allo’  is not an easy run of the mill comedy, to take it on was very brave indeed, but with Bev’s good direction it ran smoothly. I enjoyed it and so did your audience, going by their plaudits at the end.

Thank you Benenden Players I had a great afternoon, and I was greeted well and taken care of.