Aug 30
2018

Peanuts fans will know the plot: whimsical, pathos, worldly-wise adult philosophy emanating from the mouths of babes. It was all there, in abundance. Each player was superb. As Charlie Brown, John Holland exhibited all the pathos of a would-be suitor rejected by the red-head of his dreams, and at the mercy of two awful females, Lucy and Patty. Jean Warner's Lucy was just as bossy, loud and objectionable as Schultz's original creation. Anna Rufey was a scatty Patty, intense and lovable at the same time.

Playing the part of a dog cannot be easy, especially for a tall man such as Peter St James, but whether lying atop his kennel, bemoaning his late dinner or spelling out doggy philosophy, he was fine. Mind you he has had plenty of experience, seemingly picked out to play animal parts in so many past productions. Top of the bill, though, was Richard Beaumont, a most convincing Linus, hugging his blanket for all he was worth, sucking his thumb as if he had been doing it all his life, and managing to do both when switching on TV with the remote control.

One of the showstoppers 'Book Report' was a classic, a very difficult piece to sing, relying on timing and an ability to step back to allow another to take the lead. Full marks too, to musical director Susana Castellot, who played the piano throughout and who shows great promise for the future, having already shadowed the MD for Oliver! at the London Palladium. What a pity Charlie Brown did not attract larger audiences. At just £5 a head it was remarkable value for money. BLAG's next production, Return to the Forgotten Decade...The Fifties, will be in February. Same place, same price.

Tony White