A CUNNING plan is taking shape at Rugby Theatre, where a much-loved BBC comedy is coming to the stage to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The theatre is recreating three episodes from Blackadder Goes Forth, set in the trenches during the bloody four-year conflict.
Director John Dulcamara says it will be a loving commemoration of those that fought and died.
John said: “Affection for the wartime Blackadder series still rumbles on 30 years after it was first shown.
“Some critics accused the show of being disrespectful of the British Army, but the comedy was always handled with warmth and takes account of the bravery and debt we owe to the sacrifice of the past.
“This is never more obvious than in the poignant scene in the final episode in which our much-loved characters go over the top.”
The production uses the original scripts written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton – which presented one or two problems for the production team.
“We don’t have the ability to cut seamlessly away from one scene to the next – for example, from the Flanders trenches to General Melchett’s chateau office – in the blink of an eye,” said John.
“We’re not able to zoom in on Blackadder’s long-suffering expression as Baldrick explains his next cunning plan – but theatre is always special, and there is a certain magic to seeing something so iconic recreated live on stage.”
John Harrison stars as Blackadder, the role created by Rowan Atkinson, with Gavin Yeats taking Tony Robinson’s part of Private Baldrick. Steve Bingham is General Melchett, played in the original by Stephen Fry, while Chris Allen Mason recreates Hugh Laurie’s Lieutenant George Colthurst, Robert Warner plays Tim McInnerny’s Captain Darling, and Ellie Derrick portrays driver ‘Bob’ Parkhurst, originally played by Gabrielle Glaister.
“We’re had spectacular fun in rehearsals,” said the director. “And ticket sales so far have been really encouraging. We can’t wait to get started.”
Blackadder Goes Forth opens on November 17 for a seven-performance run at the Henry Street venue.
Visit www.rugbytheatre.co.uk call 01788 541234 for tickets.