Review by Bucks Examiner "Northern 'hero' gives BLAG its best platform yet"


Reg Smythe's classic cartoon, Andy Capp, was brought brilliantly to life by the cast of BLAG Theatre Company on Saturday night. This was, without a doubt, the slickest offering I've seen by the company and it was a special delight to see their efforts on a professional stage. Previously I have seen their shows at the Watersmeet Theatre's Chess Suite which, while comfortable, does not give the audience a sense of stage depth. In fact you tend usually to see the cast only from the knees up.

Review by Watford Observer "Fast-paced foolery is such good fun"


The dodgy puns came thick and fast at BLAG Theatre Company's production of The Night of The Jockstrap at Watersmeet Theatre this week. A list of the characters' names gives a fair indication of the Carry-On style of humour on offer, there was a Major Catastrophe, Ivor Smallpiece, Ivanta Havalot and a Miss Take. Add to this the fact the action took place in a stately home called Farque Hall and it is clear that this wasn't a play to take itself seriously.

Review by Bucks Examiner "Whimsy, pathos: Charlie Brown had it in abundance"


THIS WAS, quite simply, one of the most entertaining evenings I have spent in a local theatre for a long time. You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown was the first of the new series of scaled-down productions staged at Watersmeet by Richard and Lynn Beaumont, who previously worked under the title Three Rivers Theatre Company, and who are now directors of the BLAG Theatre Company. This Clark Gesner show, based on the tremendously popular Charles M. Schultz comic strip Peanuts, was presented in the theatre's 100-seat Chess Suite with a small cast - five - and just two musicians playing the accompaniment. 

Review by Bucks Examiner "Every evening, every day, BLAG get it right"


VARIETY, so they say, is the spice of life...and if that's true then BLAG's new show is guaranteed to add a few extra years to your life. Doing the Lambeth Walk takes the audience on a journey through the East End and the world of variety theatre, where, armed with a glossary of rhyming slang and the words to old favourites like 'Pack up your troubles', 'Knees up Mother Brown', 'Roll out the barrel', 'I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts' and 'It's a long way to Tipperary', they are soon singing along. Anna Rufey, last seen in BLAG's production of Snoopy, lamented lustily on the 23 occasions she has followed the bride down the aisle, asking "Why am I always the bridesmaid?", and her pairing with Lucy Gwynne-Evans (Woodstock in 'Snoopy') was inspired as the two performers highlighted the talent and ambition of two chorus girls.

Review by Bucks Examiner "BLAG'S Christmas Cracker, Pump House, Watford"


BLAG'S new show is a must for teachers everywhere. Why, you ask? The answer in two words is 'Nativity plays'. The talented cast portray a teacher and her young pupils performing a traditional Christmas Nativity for family and friends, accompanied by fights, demands for better parts in the middle of the show and the problems of stage-struck youngsters. It's no exaggeration when I say that I laughed until I cried at the antics on stage.

Review by Watford Observer "BLAG walks away with the Cockney honours"


FLAT caps, braces and rhyming slang galore helped bring the spirit of the East End of London and traditional cabaret to the Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth recently. BLAG Theatre Company's evening of music and gags, in its Cockney-style variety show called 'Doing the Lambeth Walk', was great fun. The venue, the Chess Room, was decorated with Union Jack bunting, adding a patriotic feeling to this very British style of entertainment where the audience was invited to sing along to classic tunes from the music hall era.

Review by Bucks Examiner "Nostalgia's not what it was? Don't you believe it"


Some say, jokingly, that nostalgia's not what it was. Audiences at Rickmansworth's Watersmeet Theatre this week might not agree. In the intimate atmosphere of the theatre's Chess Suite they are being taken on a journey back to The Forgotten Decade...The 50's. The coronation, the conquest of Everest, the first sub-four-minute mile, the Goons, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, rock and roll, Elvis, Bill and Ben...all feature in BLAG Theatre Company's wallow in nostalgia.

Review by Watford Observer "Audience rips it up with Rip 'Em Off"


Musicals were the mainstay of my childhood. Many a Sunday afternoon was spent curled up on the sofa, drawn into the world of Mary Poppins, Oliver, Annie, Kiss Me Kate and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. As an adult, I have not forgotten those happy times and am perfectly happy to sit through another musical if one happens to be on the telly. But all that is now at an end thanks to The Showstoppers from Hell in Rip 'Em Off. In the nicest possible way, the show, by members of BLAG, performed at the Watersmeet Theatre last week, has ensured that I will never be able to look at a musical in the same light again.

Review by Watford Observer "Blag Christmas Show is proving an oasis of brilliance in a desert of blandness"


Blag's festive ding dong excels. BRILLIANT, Lampooning, Artistic, Gifted - Blag Theatre Company is all this and more. Ding Dong Merrily...BUT WHY? is the company's Christmas offering currently showing at the Pump House in Local Board Road, Watford, and it is a brilliantly witty, hilarious mix of comedy, songs, good-natured take-offs and audience participation - in short, the perfect way to begin the festive celebrations. Blag Theatre Company was founded by husband-and-wife team Lynn and Richard Beaumont and it was this gifted duo that wrote and produced Ding Dong Merrily...BUT WHY?

Review by Bucks Free Press "BLAG is just the trick"


When it comes to getting audience participation, nobody does it better than the BLAG Theatre Company. In fact, the trick they pulled off at the end of this excellent spoof about musical theatre, had the audience clapping, cheering and whistling for more. I won't spoil it and say what they did, but if you want to find out, then go along and catch this play tonight or tomorrow. Like many local groups, they suffer from a lack of funds which can be a good thing, because it means they have to rely on their imaginations and talent, of which they have plenty. As long as theatre groups like this keep going, then live theatre will survive.

Review by Watford Observer "Skilled cast left audience doubled up in mirth"


FROM the moment they bounced onto the stage with their shimmy and their singing in perfect harmony, the Blag Theatre Company did more than impress in their Pump House Christmas show, they wowed. With over 40 characters being played by a cast of five, Eyes, Teeth and Tinsel was a veritable comic feast of songs and skits based on the theme of Christmas. Featuring all the stars, from elves to Christmas puddings, and fairies to Mrs Claus, the bevy of performances never failed to surprise and amuse, leaving the audience doubled up with laughter.

Review by Bucks Examiner "If you've a fiver spare book a seat now"


BLAG Theatre Company's new show Rip 'Em Off is a delightful tongue-in-cheek production, which at no stage attempts to take itself seriously. Created by theatrical couple, Richard and Lynn Beaumont, in conjunction with Richard's sister Laura, Rip 'Em Off takes an affectionate side swipe at many well-known musicals. From the opening bars of Oliver! and Mary Poppins, through Annie and Cats, the show parodies the lyrics of some of the best loved musicals to show the audience what the performers feel. Two of the opening solos were particularly good. In the first Richard plays a former child star who asks plaintively 'Will I ever work again?', while in the second Jean Warner's Mary Poppins warns that "putting children in films can make them precocious".

Review by Watford Observer "Satire was a right royal laugh"


IN a week when the nation celebrated the Queen's Golden Jubilee it was appropriate to see BLAG Theatre Company's up-to-the-minute affectionate tribute with a twist - Gaw'd Save The Queen! The show ran for three nights at the flag bedecked venue, the Court Theatre, at Pendley. Members of the audience were given a Union Jack with the programme, inside of which were facts and figures not only about HM, but also amusing insights into royal moments experienced by the cast and crew. The fast-moving revue, written and directed by Lynn and Richard Beaumont, began with the national anthem, which quickly moved into a medley of song and dance routines. It featured numbers from popular shows with the lyrics substituted with cheekily affectionate observations of the royal family, past and present. A spoof of the Coronation Service, combined with that moment audiences dread - participatory action and sound effects - was a shade too long, but nevertheless amusing, especially the finale with part-song featuring members of the Queen's staff - slightly risqué but done in the best possible taste.

Review by Watford Observer "BLAG makes a song and dance about musicals"


MUSICALS were the subject of the BLAG Theatre's song and dance review at the Pump House Theatre in Watford last week. Audiences at the theatre in Local Board Road saw BLAG's Rip 'Em Off show run through the world of musical cliches - from opening numbers to show-stopping endings. Richard, Lynn and Laura Beaumont, who devised the show as well as performing in it, put their own words to famous show tunes in order to give a glimpse behind the curtain of the world of show-business.

Review by Bucks Examiner "Blagging it for 'er Majesty"


THE BLAG Theatre Company is winning a lot of friends with its original material. This show, which tapped into the jubilee spirit, certainly went down well. The first part was a skit on things Royal - what's in the Queen's handbag? The role of Camilla Parker Bowles? It was all good tongue-in-cheek fun. People from overseas are sometimes bemused by the British attitude to royalty. The truth is, I think, that the British have a real regard for Her Majesty. As the Sun commented: "Even the stout republicans have respect for the Queen." But our friends from abroad simply do not understand how, on the one hand, we can lampoon the Royal Family, and how, on the other, we can respect the institution.

Review by Bucks Examiner "Charlie Brown and company deserve a bigger stage"


Good acting will always transport the spectator from a theatre bucket seat to the scene of the narrative, but when that scene is a cartoon strip, the actor's task becomes a bit more difficult. With cartoons we expect the characters to be just as they are on paper, and I'm delighted to report that the cast of Snoopy have managed to successfully bring some of my favourite characters to life. Hapless Charlie Brown, opinionated Lucy, blanket-dependent Linus and the greatest beagle of all, Snoopy, step down from Charles Schulz's cartoon strip and mingle with the audience in the latest offering from the BLAG Theatre Company. Based on the comic strip Peanuts, drawn until his recent death by Schulz, the show features seven of the strip's characters including my favourite characterisation of the evening - Woodstock.

Review by Bucks Free Press "A golden jubilee laugh"


THERE was not a member of the Royal family safe from BLAG Theatre Company's Jubilee knees-up on Monday and Tuesday. I've never come away from a BLAG show disappointed, and this show certainly didn't break the trend. My mother is one of these people that laugh inwardly, just smiling politely when something is amusing. So I couldn't believe it when she was laughing out loud and with tears streaming down her face. It was a close call whether she was actually going to wet herself. BLAG's latest offering was a satirical music revue to celebrate Her Majesty's Golden Year. The first half kicked off with a harmonious song about the royals in general, but I feel that this was a little bit lost as the undoubted humorous lyrics were quite muffled by the music, and I think, inadequate sound equipment.

Review by Watford Observer "BLAG has something to brag about"


BLAG THEATRE COMPANY'S Christmas show at The Pump House Theatre in Local Board Road, Watford, is certainly something to brag about. The opening night of Stuff The Turkey-It's Christmas!, a fast-moving, exuberant entertainment, was a parody of well-known musical theatre numbers sending up Christmas customs. Another Christmas, Another Show saw the company of six attractive women and three handsome men dressed in scarlet Santa hats carry the enthusiastic audience along with them. This set the pace and I just knew this was going to be a fun evening. Sketches and songs written by Richard and Lynne [sic] Beaumont, including a send up of visiting relations and sending seasonal cards to people we hope never to see again, struck a familiar chord with most of the audience.

Review by  Bucks Examiner "An award-winning glorious send-up"


IT IS easy to see why The Night of The Jockstrap was an Edinburgh Fringe award-winning play. It is a most glorious send-up of all those murder-most-foul mysteries set in - always it seems - a Gothic mansion with a gathering of greedy characters awaiting the reading of the will. 'Jockstrap' is playing this week at the Chess Suite, Watersmeet, Rickmansworth, and marks the third production there by BLAG Theatre Company. The piece was written by BLAG founder Richard Beaumont and Laura Beaumont and directed by Richard's wife Lynn. What's it about? To start to reveal that would tell you too much and spoil the fun should you be going to one of the two performances on each of today and tomorrow. If you haven't planned a visit, give it a try - it's only a fiver a head.