Three iconic episodes from the BBC comedy period drama, Blackadder were brilliantly performed by members of HAODS for four nights last week.
This was the Society’s annual classic sitcom dinner show performed in The HAODS studio which was accompanied by a Blackadder inspired 3 course delicious dinner from The Crooked Billet pub in Stoke Row. HAODS had previously performed Blackadder show in 2019.
The main roles Blackadder and Baldrick were played by the very talented Jake Turnell Willett (Blackadder) and George Apap (Baldrick). Both delivered their classic lines (Oh sod off, I have a plan, yes sir, Oh God etc) with credence to the original characters. You could close your eyes and think that Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson were in front of you. We also particularly loved George’s facial expressions and mouth gurning throughout – so true to Baldrick’s mannerisms.
The show started with ‘Potato’ from the Elizabethan period in 1586 with Blackadder coming face to face with his rival for the Queen’s affections, Sir Walter Raleigh. Queenie played by Jenny Sakal had perfected her accent and expressions and delivered her one-liners with ease – we particularly loved ‘Oh Sir Walter really (Raleigh)!’
The history period then moved to the Regency era of around 1816 with Blackadder as the butler to hapless George, The Prince of Wales trying to triumph the Scarlet Pimpernel in ‘Nob & Nobility’. Lord Topper and in disguise French Aristocrat played by Mark Wilkin whose French accent was very clever with some of the best comedy lines of the show about a French sausage (no spoilers here).
The final episode ‘General Hospital’ from Blackadder Goes Forth was set in the trenches in Flanders in 1916 with the General sending Blackadder into the hospital to try and find the German spy. The General played by Tim Green was hilarious with the best long dialogue of the show about poo pooing! We also loved the hilarious I Spy game.
Throughout the show there were some clever modern day and Henley references which included the Old Bell pub and the teachers’ strikes.
Julie Huntington directed the show. She said, “Another iconic production of Blackadder and his buddies. The costumes were so good we thought we would use them again! There has been no small effort made by this cast in order to bring this well-loved television classic to you live. There are some things of course that cannot be re-created, like Blackadder’s facial hair, which has to remain the same in all the episodes. I want to thank this incredible cast and crew who have risen to all the challenges I have set them, even down to waiting on the tables.”