"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
BLACKADDER GOES FORTH
Theatre Workshop at the Old Court
final big push for CTW's Blackadder tribute, with its third season
devoted to three of the best episodes from the WWI series.
stage is dotted with military memorabilia; those Lovely War songs on
a loop on the soundtrack.
Hempstead's hand-picked cast is on superb form, led by David Chilvers
as Cpn Blackadder, and Mark Preston as his downtrodden Pt Baldrick.
They've made these roles very much their own – certainly not clones
of the television stars.
solid support from the whole company, notably Steve Parr's Melchett,
Harry Sabbarton's Darling, and Ruth Cramphorn's "Bob".
a hugely impressive comedy performance from Bruce Thomas as George,
the incurable optimist who has to defend his superior at his Court
Martial as well as act the leading lady in the concert party. In the
last episode, he realises, touchingly, that he is the last of the
Trinity Tiddlers, and just before the dawn attack, sees the waste and
the tragedy of war.
see them all go over the top to their death – impressively staged –
as a field of poppies reminds us that theirs was one sacrifice
amongst so many.
pace, attack and timing are exemplary. They need to be, since one
insurmountable challenge in staging these sitcoms is that each
cross-fade and jump-cut becomes a hiatus as the stage crew shift
stuff and we get a glimpse into the Green Room behind the front lines