Blackadder

Date 12th October 2018
Society The DODS
Venue lister Hall, Dursley
Type of Production Play
Director Stuart Whitman
Musical Director -

Report

Author: Dee Way

Thank you for your kind invitation to your production of 'Blackadder', using part of the much loved TV series script adapted for the stage.  It is always difficult to adapt a TV show for the stage, so my congratulations on doing it so successfully.  The production was clearly very much appreciated by the audience - a large group of Blackadder fans.

The Direction was well planned, with the use of multi-level acting areas working well.  The concept of keeping the scenery relatively simple was very good, with various scene details being added when required, although the bed was cumbersome.  I particularly liked the doorway centre stage that also acted as a cupboard.  Using the downstage area as extra acting space worked very well to divide the scenes away from each other.  The casting was very good, with fitting contrasts in physical size, vocal range and timbre. Indeed, there were times when the show replicated the TV show very closely indeed.  The ending was quite a surprise!

The use of lighting to divide the acting areas worked very well.  In fact the lighting was excellent throughout the play, highlighting the focus areas for the audience.  Sound too was well done, with good balance and timing, and lovely birdcalls.  The interlude musicians were excellent, with clear singing and good stage presence.

The costumes were brilliant!  Every character was suitably dressed in a way that enhanced their personality.  Make up, hats and wigs added to the realism of seeing the original show.  The humour was very well handled, with the characters slowing the delivery just enough to make the comments heard and yet keep the continuity.

However, it was the characters that made this show so good. Blackadder was totally believable as the scheming courtier, while Baldrick looked suitable noxious and accident-prone. Lord Percy was played with wonderful naivety.  Queen Elizabeth's voice was absolutely brilliant as well as the part being acted with panache while Nursie was very well played with a wonderful sense of timing.  The smaller but vital parts, such as Lords Melchett and Flashheart and the Bishop of Bath and Wells were all very well played and fully demonstrated the high standard of acting ability in this company.  It was a lovely idea to have the Minstrels onstage each side of the interval, singing the Blackadder songs.  

This was a wonderful evening of laughter and enjoyment for the whole audience. Many thanks for a really fun evening of entertainment.