It's a Catastrophe ... Armageddon outta here.

Date 1st April 2022
Society Blackmore Players
Venue Blackmore Village Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Alf Currey
Choreographer Rhona Maclure & Rosemarie Nelson
Written By Alf Currey

Report

Author: Zahna Hull

We had a warm welcome at Blackmore for their original production of It’s a Catastrophe …. Armageddon Outta Here. This show was written and directed by Alf Currey and is a musical based on the popular TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ The show gave the audience the opportunity to vote for their favourite Catastrophe (celebrity) just like on the real TV show. The theatre was set out informally with tables rather than rows of theatre seats and this added to the fun.

The show began with the entrance of the TV Stage Manager, Ryan Stevens, and we are plunged into the world of a TV show being made. This premise was supported by the filming of the contestants and the use of a screen placed adjacent to the stage where we saw what the viewers at home would see; this included titles, and interviews with the contestants. Some cast members were TV crew and others were the contestants on the TV show where the winner became King or Queen of the Jungle.

The story was simple and the narration was led by Bants and Specs played by Martin Herford, who kept his Geordie accent throughout and Theresa Marsden, who, hilariously, didn’t. The two represented Ant and Dec and they were enthusiastic and fun.

The musical numbers in the show helped tell the story and were all adapted songs from popular music or shows. It was great fun listening to the songs and remembering what shows they were from. There were musical numbers from Les Mis, Grease, Oliver, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Life of Brian and more. All the performers did a great job. Voices were good and the audiences certainly appreciated the hard work of everyone to get this show to the stage.

There were some really funny scenes and some really good characterisation too.

The Contestants were celebrities apart from Tilly Beale, played by Linda Raymond, who actually worked in the Co-op. Tilly was a lovely character, her signature song was from Grease and showcased her talent well. There were 5 other contestants, or Catastrophes all of whom gave convincing and entertaining performances and each had the opportunity to show their talent with individual songs: Dr Sheridan Brian Blooper was a mad scientist and was played by Joseph Cordell; Joseph has a relaxed stage presence and managed to devise a bomb to blow up the ‘special’ boots of Larry Paxo, played by Alan Cordell to discover that it was he who was the Snicker Nicker. (echoes of Aladdin there) Alan played an arrogant Paxo, a TV presenter, who did not suffer fools gladly. Keith Goody played the handsome veteran actor, Rock Hamilton, mild mannered and narcissistic, he went along with some of the requirements of the show with distain but dressed up and participated much to the amusement of the audience. Paprika Papadopolous, played by Rebeca Smith, was a TV fitness guru and was very particular about how her name was pronounced; she had trouble in the eating challenges because she was vegan. This led to some funny gags including ‘I can’t eat anything with a face……’  

Our final catastrophe was Luvvy Dove, played by Linda Cearns. Luvvy reminded me of Joanna Lumley as she was a beautiful and dignified actress.

With lovely performances from other supporting actors, in particular the tea lady, Barbara Harold, and the Assistant Stage Manager, Annie Allardyce the show was a great inter-generational community piece. With a song called ‘Blackmore’ sung to the tune of YMCA it certainly got the audience singing along. I could see the hard work and detail put into the show; not least the signs showing the Cats, Asses and Trophies! (Cat, Ass, Trophy…get it?)

The costumes were great, particularly the red t-shirts of the contestants with their names on the back and the jeans and t-shirts of the crew also displaying their roles.  There were animal costumes and puppets and a dunny complete with a graffiti on the inside of the door.

Well done Blackmore players we had some laugh out loud moments and a good sing-along too.