Blackadder and Baldrick All Set to Go Forth in Newport

April 27, 2015

Some of TV’s most iconic comic characters are set to tread the boards of the Dolman Theatre when Newport Playgoers present ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ in May.

Blackadder (Steve Drowley) listens as Baldrick (Gordon Collins) explains yet another “cunning plan” to escape the frontline. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Blackadder (Steve Drowley) listens as Baldrick (Gordon Collins) explains yet another “cunning plan” to escape the frontline. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Based on the fourth and final series of the BBC hit comedy, this play has the recurring characters of Blackadder, Baldrick and George scheming to get out of the trenches in Flanders during WWI.

General Melchett & Captain Darling thwart their efforts in their own bumbling style, while other memorable characters include the Red Baron, Flashheart and Bob.

Baldrick (Gordon Collins), George (James Symonds), Melchett (Peter Bourne) and Blackadder (Steve Drowley) discuss tactics. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Baldrick (Gordon Collins), George (James Symonds), Melchett (Peter Bourne) and Blackadder (Steve Drowley) discuss tactics. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Recreating an undisputed TV classic – whose characters were made memorable by some of the most enduring names in British comedy –  would be a daunting mission for most amateur theatre companies. But Playgoers have a great track record of bringing popular sitcoms to life on the stage. Previous successes include ‘The Vicar of Dibley’,‘Allo ‘Allo, ‘Fawlty Towers’ and ‘Dad’s Army’.

Lord Flashheart (Ryan Hillier) wastes no time in getting to know new recruit “Bob” (Catherine Morgan) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Lord Flashheart (Ryan Hillier) wastes no time in getting to know new recruit “Bob” (Catherine Morgan) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“As well as being classic comedy, this revival of ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ is timely with this year being both the centenary of the start of World War One and the 25th anniversary of when the show first aired on TV, said the play’s director Rosemary Bissex.

“Amid all the jokes and satire in the original script by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, the final scene where our heroes finally go over the top is a classic, truly emotional TV moment,” she added.

Baldrick (Gordon Collins), George (James Symonds), Melchett (Peter Bourne) and Blackadder (Steve Drowley) discuss tactics. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Baldrick (Gordon Collins), George (James Symonds), Melchett (Peter Bourne) and Blackadder (Steve Drowley) discuss tactics. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The play is packed with wit and humour but it also has the power to make audiences reflect on the indiscriminate waste of so many lives – all those naive Baldricks, the patriotic Georges and the world-weary Blackadders who never returned from the Great War.

‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ is at the Dolman Theatre from 13 – 16 May at 7.15 pm with a matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. For more information or to book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

Previous Playgoers' productions of TV classics: 'The Vicar of Dibley', 'Dad's Army', 'Fawlty Towers' and 'Allo 'Allo. (PHOTOS: PHIL MANSELL)

Previous Playgoers’ productions of TV classics: ‘The Vicar of Dibley’, ‘Dad’s Army’, ‘Fawlty Towers’ and ‘Allo ‘Allo. (PHOTOS: PHIL MANSELL)

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‘Fawlty’ Start to Newport Playgoers’ New Season!

September 2, 2011
Newport Playgoers present 'Fawlty Towers'

Waiting to welcome you to ‘Fawlty Towers’ are Sybil (Nicky Davies), Basil (Alex Wilson), Manuel (Ryan Salter) and Polly (Catherine Morgan) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

There’s mayhem and misunderstandings galore when Newport Playgoers launch their new season with ‘FawltyTowers’ on 13th September.

Based on the classic sitcom created by John Cleese and Connie Booth, this promises to be a real treat for theatregoers.

All the show’s wonderfully memorable characters are on duty at the world’s worst hotel – manic Basil, his gossipy, unhelpful wife Sybil, hapless Spanish waiter Manuel, and waitress Polly (see them in action in the photos below).

It features three of the show’s classic episodes, including the one in which Basil tells a party of Germans where they went wrong during World War 2.

“To bring a work from the small screen to the stage is never easy, especially one which has not been re-written or adapted,” said the play’s first-time director Jes Hynes. “However, I have a fantastic cast and we’re working hard to make this comedy classic into a great production that we’re sure audiences will love.”

 ‘FawltyTowers’ is the first of eight plays making up Playgoers’ 88th Season. Future productions include ‘Frost/Nixon’, ‘The Lady in the Van’ by Alan Bennett and an updated version of Moliere’s ‘The Hypochondriac’ written byLiverpool poet Roger McGough.

 ‘FawltyTowers’ is at the Dolman Theatre from 13 – 17 September. For tickets, phone 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

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