Aug 30

Richard Beaumont brought the hard-drinking layabout, Andy Capp, vividly to life, while his real-life wife, Lynn, stole the show as Flo - his much put upon spouse. After one insult too many, Flo walks out on Andy, who discovers just how much he actually misses his missus. But while Flo misses her good-for-nothing husband, she also has revenge in mind, "stealing" Andy's prized racing pigeon, Hermione, to prevent Andy from competing in a race from York. Meanwhle their street is preparing for the wedding of the year - Mrs Scrimmett's daughter Raquel (Anna Rufey) is about to marry Elvis (Chris Clarke) and Mrs Scrimmett (Jean Warner) is determined that nothing but the best will do.

Her silent, suffering spouse - played by Bob Visser - is forced to withdraw his life savings to pay for the event, a circumstance which leads him to speak for the first time in 20 years. At the stag and hen nights he suddenly shouts out that the drinks are on him and spends the lot. The result of this largesse is a much smaller wedding party in the Rose and Crown and the life long admiration of his friends.John Holland and Lucy Gwynne-Evans play the Capp's closest friends, Chalkie and Ruby, who help patch up Flo and Andy's rocky relationship and convince Flo to enter Hermione in the pigeon race. The remaining roles were taken by Jean Heard (as the barmaid Linda) and Paul Gooch in the dual roles of Percy the rent collector and the vicar.

Performances, and the northern accents required for the roles, were good across the board, while the simple props and costumes helped recreate the feel of the original two-dimensional cartoon strip...right down to Andy's traditional pint glasses of ale.The musical numbers were performed with great gusto and the accompaniment, under the direction of Susana Castellot, added to the professional feel of the production.I just wish more people had been present to see the results of BLAG's hard work but, as it was, the cast played to a half empty house. Come on folks, get out and support your local theatre.

Estelle Sinkins