'Over The Top' — 13/14th July 2018

The poster and the programme

Pre-production photos:

The chaps from Blackadder before the first Dress Rehearsal …
[L to R: Jo Smith, Jonathan Neil, Rod Sharp, David Burnham, Neil Hardinge & Rufus Kendall]

… and during the rehearsal (it was a sweltering 30°C!)

Photos from the last night (Deb Williamson & Angus McKay):

Act 1: The show began with the Blackadder sketch 'Goodbyeee'

Baldrick (Rod Sharp), George (Jo Smith) and Blackadder (Rufus Kendall) wait for news of the 'big push'

Blackadder decides the best way to avoid going 'Over the Top' is to be declared mad.

Sadly for him, Melchett (David Burnham) isn't being taken in by it. On the left is Captain Darling (Jonathan Neil).

Baldrick offers Darling a cup of coffee – made out of mud, dandruff and saliva.

Baldrick gives Blackadder and George a rendition of his poem 'The German Guns' – "Boom, boom, boom, boom".

Melchett tells Darling he's sending him to the Front.

Field Marshall Haig (Neil Hardinge) answers Blackadder's call for help …

… but Blackadder is not amused by his answer.

Our four heroes end up by going 'Over the Top'

Act 2:

The 'Women in White' (Wendy Downs, Pru Harrold, Penny McKay, Jill Turner, Mel White & Dil Williamson-Smith) sang several times during th show. Here they introduce Act 2 with 'Keep the Home Fires Burning'

Simon read a letter from a young boy about seeing a Zeppelin crash

We had many instruments on stage for 'Belgium Put the Kibosh on the Kaiser' – some of us even knew how to play them!

Wendy, Mel and Dil stepped forward to weave some choreographic magic during the choruses.

Mel was back to read a letter written by a girl to her fiancé in the trenches.

Angela Berry read from the War Diary of Ethel Bilbrough at several points in the proceedings, and John McGregor with Louis Clist were there to interject each time – here they offer her a couple of rabbits to help with her food shortages.

Zya tells us of Flora Thompson's failed attempt to feed her family on snails in Liphook during the War.

A disorderly male chorus try to tell us that 'Bad Times Are Just Around the Corner'.

Into a musical finale for Act 2 –
David sang 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' …

Deb gave us 'No man's Land' …

Charlie read 'At the Going Down of the Sun'' …

Penny read 'Armistice 1918''
This was followed by four girls reading all 96 WW1 names fron the Headley War Memorial …

… and Barbara and Pete led us into 'The Last Tommy' to end the set.

Act 3:

Zya introduced the Suffragette set …

… and the 'Women in White' gave us the Suffragettes' Anthem'.

Now the fun begins – Dil is dallying with her stuffed parrot …

We all 'Go Down the Strand' …

Tina Wareham introduces 'Rule Britannia' …

Penny introduces 'Jerusalem' …

Mel introduces 'There'll Always Be An England' …

… and Deb finishes it off by introducing 'Land of Hope and Glory' …

… with much flag-waving from the audience'.

… and Jo Levy is able to give us the final chord!

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