As if bringing the UK’s most famous TV comedy to the stage wasn’t enough pressure, having 18 months of interrupted rehearsals and built-up anticipation due to the pandemic meant nerves could have been jangling.

But none of those pressures showed in this week’s slick production of Dad’s Army when it was professionally brought to the stage at Burnham’s Princess Theatre over five separate performances.

More than 20 local residents took part in the shows, which were seen by a combined audience of over 800 people, including a sell-out final show on Saturday night (October 2nd).

The familiar characters and their well-known catchphrases – ‘Don’t Panic, Mr Mainwaring’ – were superbly well recreated and the storyline was so well aligned with the TV show that at times it felt like you’d stepped back in time and were sat watching the film set of the original BBC TV programme!

While every performer shone during this nostalgic show, there were many stand-outs with George Clement effortlessly filling the boots of Capt. Mainwaring; Andy Boult as Lance Corporal Jones; Mark Banzyck-Gee as Sgt Wilson; Jimmy Lynch as Frazer; Steve Finch as  Private Godfrey; Paul Williams as Pike; Paul Hale as the German U-Boat Captain, Steve Hentschel as the Warden; John Burnham as the Verger; James Fear as Private Day; John Rowland as the Colonel;  Tim Champ as the Vicar; Geoff Stait as the Train Guard and Town Clerk; Michelle Stevens as Mrs Pike; Debbie Birkett as Mrs Fox; Carole Roberts as Mrs Gray; Fran Satchwell as Edith Parish; Simone Lynch as Mrs Hart; and Amanda Clarke as the Waitress.

The fantastic back-stage team, including Allan Jones, Debbie Birkett, Luke Adams, Andy Sugg and Zoe Hamblin, also deserve high praise, ensuring the lighting, sound and stage were all perfect, with slick scene changes accompanied by foot-tapping music from the era.

The show was overseen by Project Play, a community project that offers theatre enthusiasts an opportunity to be involved in a professional local play, and raised funds for Help For Heroes.

Director Allan Jones told Burnham-On-Sea.com it had been a lot of fun to bring the show to the stage: “The fact that we have had over 18 months to prepare and rehearse hopefully made the show even more polished. We had a great mix of local people filling the shoes of the famous roles – we have become like an extended family over such a long period of time.”

 
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