Reviewed by Kerry Cooper
Listen very carefully I shall write this only once! The Blackwood Players and director Kay Kelly Lindbergs have made a brave choice in tackling the stage version of the very popular British sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo. Set during World War ll in France; Rene a hapless café owner is hiding two British airmen, a priceless painting and the first ever made cuckoo clock. With varying agendas, what unfolds is a farcical display of double entendres, as Rene attempts to juggle his wife, waitresses, the Germans and the resistance.
The central role of Rene played by James Barbary fared well, with an uncanny resemblance to Gorden Kaye from the sitcom. Kathy Strauts was less convincing and lacked that domineering quality needed to play the nagging wife. Ashlee Lowe and Miffy Davis succeeded in their flirtatious roles as waitresses Yvette and Mimi.
Some roles were cast better than others, with Rosie Read as Michelle, Damien White as Crabtree, Lauren Hollis as Helga and Ben Todd as Gruber particularly good in maintaining their various accents.
Pianist Stuart Partis complete with beret provided the music for impromptu cabaret performances and along with the director designed the set, which would have fared better with the odd wall hanging.
It was clear that some of the audience were familiar with some of the iconic lines and were vocal in their appreciation.
Although the script offers comedy by the bucket load , the lack of timing and overall clarity in delivery of lines meant that this production falls well short of expectation.