'Allo 'Allo

Date 12th July 2014
Society Leighton Buzzard Drama Group
Venue Leighton Buzzard Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Colin Aldous

Report

Author: Keith Pendall

It was obvious from  the time I walked into the theatre that the audience came with the sole purpose of enjoying themselves, this production did not disappoint.

“Allo! Allo! Is fondly remembered by a generation of now middle aged people who watched the series weekly on BBC starring Gorden Kaye and Carmen Silvera. Leighton  Buzzard drama group took on this challenge with gusto and in many cases performances were reminiscent of those from the TV series. A very convincing set of Rene’s cafe with some very clever use of props and stage dressing in particular the parrots and cockatoos used by LeClerc . Quite a small stage which meant that some of the set changes were not always quick but this was covered well by musical interludes. Costumes were also effective and helped the characterisations.

There were some very solid performances in this production and were very close, as I mentioned earlier to the originals. Andrew Meadows as Lieutenant Gruber had great stage presence and his flirtation scenes with Rene were high in comedy moments. Rene himself was played again very convincingly by Russell Bennett. From the moment he delivered his opening dialogue he set  the scene for the rest of the play and he made the most of some delicious comedy lines. Lainy Ward as Edith was again I fine parody of Carmen Silvera  and the audience gave her a very worthy round of applause for her dance number with Yvette and Mimi. Other strong performances came from Tony White as Colonel Von Strohm and Colin Delamore as Captain Alberto Bertorelli. Their scenes together worked very well and it was obvious that they are both very seasoned performers. Although he had a relatively small role Randell Moll certainly made the most of the part of LeClerc again with some very well timed dialogue.

Director Colin Aldous must also be mentioned, as comedy such as this is not easy to direct especially as it is such a well known and loved piece. I am sure he had great fun directing his cast and it was clear that every member of the cast got enormous pleasure from performing it. All in all Allo! Allo!  provided a very entertaining evening ,and by the look on the faces of the audience when I left the theatre they looked as happy leaving the building as when they came in. This in itself is the mark of a very successful production.