‘Allo ‘Allo! at Silchester Village HallBy Angela Solomons
May 11, 2009
For their spring production the Silchester Players chose ‘Allo ‘Allo, the stage version of the enormously successful long-running 1980s TV sitcom.
We are introduced to Rene Artois a French café owner in Nazi-occupied France.
Rene is a man with a lot on his mind. In his cellar he is hiding two British airmen until the Resistance can repatriate them. In his kitchen is the priceless painting of The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies which is hidden in a decaying knockwurst sausage.
His love life is also very complicated – additionally Rene must keep secret from his wife Edith his long running affairs with two of his waitresses Mimi and Yvette. The complicated plot includes multiple Hitlers (including a blow-up version), parrots, a dummy cockatoo in a cage which acts as the wireless communication device with London and a very dodgy cigar.
The Germans comprise the Colonel, Helga, Herr Flick and Gruber and the rest of the cast are the Italian Bertorelli, Crabtree (“Good moaning”) and Leclerc ( he of the immortal line “It is I, Leclerc!”)
Performances of special note were Alan Moorhouse’s Rene – his French accent was faultless and he again showed his great talent for comic acting. Caroline Martin brought the house down with her brilliant portrayal of Edith’s singing while Jo Sanderson was delightful as the sexy Yvette, with an extremely authentic accent. Helga was played by Sarah Oliver who brought to the role just the right mixture of severity and humour.
Lastly special mention should be made of the backstage crew – this is a particularly difficult production to stage, not least because the West End production had the luxury of a revolving stage! Also to Keith Graham as director.
A most enjoyable evening.
The show has two further performances on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16. The performances have sold out, but some returns may be available. For more details, call the box office on (0118) 981 5600 or log on to www.silchesterplayers.hampshire.org.uk.