There was a barrel-load of laughs on offer at The Quay Theatre last week, as Coggeshall Amateur Theatrical Society brought the comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo to the town’s theatre in a masterful and hilarious production.
The talented cast got a good grip on the humour which came in spades, thanks to the writing efforts of Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, who wrote the original TV series.
The action is set in the Second World War, in the cafe of Rene Artois who, caught between the Gestapo, the Resistance and the attentions of his two mistresses, leads a hectic life.
And then there are the two British airmen hiding in his cupboard, and the painting of the Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies by Van Klomp, in his cellar. It is worth a fortune and everyone is trying to lay claim to it so they can sell it after the war.
The painting gets hidden in a large German sausage, paving the way for a deluge of raunchy jokes, both visual and verbal – putting the knockers in the knockwurst, as you might say.
Julian Prime did an excellent job of the lead part of Rene, trying to satisfy everyone’s demands while avoiding getting himself shot.
Andrew Jacobs and Lewis Miller did well as Colonel Von Strohm and Captain Bertorelli, the former coping splendidly with his dodgy wig.
Plaudits too for Andy Waller as the scary Herr Flick and his Nazi girlfriend Helga (Jackie Younger).
Russell Lydford had everyone in convulsions with his delightfully camp character Lieutenant Gruber, whose unwanted attentions Renee spends much effort avoiding.
The set was well designed and sported an impressive array of authentic props and furnishings. All in all, a great night’s entertainment – let’s hope Cats will be back at the Quay again soon.