Allo, Allo

FOLLOWING 16 years, the stage adaption of one of the most popular British television comedies is returning to Hobart.

When Craig Wellington, John X and Graeme Paine OAM starred in ‘Allo Allo’ for the first time in 2002, they didn’t dream they would do it again.

“It went down well with Hobart audiences back then, and the time feels right to do it again,” Mr Wellington said.

“John and Graeme put on two productions of The Vicar of Dibley in the Playhouse in recent years and they were enormously popular, proving that Hobart audiences love the stage adaptions of British comedies.

“In the stage play of Allo Allo, the characters are the same as those seen on the television series, so audiences will really relate to what they have seen on television.”

Mr Wellington is enjoying directing the show this time around, ably assisted by Mr Paine in a producer role.

“Graeme still attends most rehearsals and is keeping the cast and crew on their toes, as those who have worked with Graeme in the past could appreciate,” Mr Wellington said.

John X is reprising his role of hapless café owner Rene Artois.

Well-known locals Colin Dean, Samantha Sangston, Andrew Colrain and Daryl Peebles are also making a comeback after 16 years.

“There are some new faces this time around, with some of the younger cast having to go to YouTube to watch clips and learn about the show,” Mr Wellington said.

“Hobart acting and comedy talent completing the cast includes Jeff Keogh, Anna Kidd, Nicole Simms-Farrow, Jeremy Pyefinch, David Gilkes, Laura Gilkes, Paul Levett and Tessa Sutton.”

Based on the hugely popular comedy, the play follows Rene in war-torn occupied France as he and his wife, Edith, struggle to keep for themselves a priceless portrait of the fallen Madonna with the big boobies, stolen by the Nazis and kept in a sausage in their cellar.

Rene is hiding two British airmen and is endeavouring, with the help of the Resistance, to repatriate them.

Matters come to a head with the news that the Fuhrer is to visit the town and the café.

Rene needs all the wit he can muster to save his café and his life, and in the meantime, keep his dalliances with waitresses Mimi and Yvette a secret from his wife, deal with the Germans from the friendly Gruber to the strict Herr Flick, not to mention the General and the Colonel.

Allo Allo is playing at Hobart’s Playhouse Theatre until 13 October.

Tickets are available from Centertainment in the Elizabeth Street Mall or centertainment.com.au.

Caption: From left, Allo Allo cast members John X as Rene Artois, Samantha Sangston as Yvette, Nicole Simms-Farrow as Edith Artois and Colin Dean as General Von Schmelling.

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