Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Blackadder Goes Forth - Review - People's Theatre

Blackadder Goes Forth
The People’s Theatre
30th October 31, 2018

Richard Curtis and Ben Elton’s classic sitcom comes to The People’s Theatre in all its glory. All the wit and dry humour is here and delivered with great comic timing. It’s been put together very much like the series, in four chunks of unrelated stories. The script seems almost untouched from the original series, though there are a one or two changes and additions, such as borrowing Bob from another Blackadder series.
The sound is great with the Blackadder score used throughout. In the intro we are given a warning by the Baron about switching off our phones which is hilariously delivered. It’s great they are commemorating the end of the First World War with this performance.

The premise, in case you didn’t know, is that Blackadder and his faithful band of soldiers are in the trenches waiting to battle the bosh, the mighty Germans and company. Except not very much battling is actually going on, and neither side is making much progress. The sounds are powerful in places really bringing you into the war. I actually jumped at one point.

The cast are well chosen: Captain Blackadder played by Sam Hinton (who was in last year's Season's  Greetings) is very commanding and his wit really hits the mark. George is played by Ben Ostell (seen recently in Heaton!) and he plays the goofy part well. Baldrick, played by Tony Sehgal, is spot on with his mannerisms and looks the spitting image of the original Baldrick. As General Melchett, Steven Robertson - also recently in Heaton! - pulls off a bold impression of Stephen Fry's original characterisation. Captain Darling - the joke that keeps on giving - is played by Oli Pages. Other notable performances are Bob, the Baron and Captain Bosh Bosh Flashheart.

The director Matthew Hope has done a great job with the scripts, placement and general pacing. The sets are beautifully made. The ladders to no man's land were quite haunting. All the costumes were excellent and it all really adds to the feeling of the piece. Three main locations on stage are outside the barracks, inside the barracks and Melchett's office.

This is a great production and really brings Blackadder back to life on stage. Some of the jokes are not exactly pc now, but are very much of their time. I enjoyed this a lot. Watch out for the nice surprise at the end, very touching.

Blackadder goes forth is playing at the people's theatre every night from 7.30pm until and including Saturday the 3rd of November.

Frank Cromartie Murphy

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