The play begins with the company marching through the auditorium to the stage set with the Church Hall at Walmington on Sea, complete with Capt Mainwaring’s Office. As they reach the stage the characters are instantly recognisable. Even before a line had been spoken I could spot, Capt Mainwaring (Steve Robertson), Sergeant Wilson (Roger Liddle), Corporal Jones (Andrew De’Ath), Fraser (Mike Smith), Godfrey (Tony Childs), Pike (Sean Burnside) and the spiv Walker (Pete McAndrew).
The play covers three of the TV episodes beginning with the classic U-Boat prisoners of war, the poignant Mum’s Army in which Capt Mainwaring finds romance, and finally the hysterical Godiva Affair, complete with Morris Dancing). Each sketch captured the essence of the show, all the catch phrases, the blustering officiousness of Mainwaring, the suaveness of Sergeant Wilson, the stupid boyishness of Pike.
This was a big cast of characters and it would difficult, and unfair to single out particular performers: each one did a brilliant job of bringing their character to life on the stage. Favourite moments however have to be Fraser uttering those immortal words “he’s doomed!” and Sergeant Wilson galloping across the stage in his Morris dancing horse costume!
Dad’s Army runs until the 14th July – if you enjoyed the TV show you will love this.
(Pictures by Paula Smart)Denise Sparrowhawk