Category Archives: Old Day School

Things to do with the Old Day School.

Taking comedy very seriously

We take our comedy very seriously at BaCStage. You have to play comedy absolutely straight or it just isn’t funny.


‘Allo ‘Allo presents some interesting new challenges, not least of which is to portray a group of characters who are well known and much loved from off the telly (explainer for our young reader: “the telly” is “YouTube for old people”). We can’t just impersonate the originals; we must find the characters for ourselves.

Ron, yesterday

Some of the cast are going to great lengths to find their characters. Chairman Ron, for example, has already been on three holidays this year.  Historical accounts of World War II don’t give much detail on how long the occupying German forces in France spent topping up their suntans, but Ron generally knows what he’s doing so far be it from me to question his methods.

Peaky Blinder
There has been ein mistake…

Our Herr Flick, meanwhile, has been all the way to Berlin in search of inspiration (good luck claiming that on expenses – Ed).  We’re not sure he’s read the stage directions, or even the script at all for that matter, but on the other hand should the Peaky Blinders ever decamp to Germany he’ll be in with a good shout of getting a part.

Back at the Old Day School rehearsals have been progressing, but not always in the right direction.  One of us thought we were putting on Das Boot, while some others decided to enact Brexit through the medium of interpretive dance.

Das Boot

However, Herr Direktor Gordon is on the case.  When the actors step out of line he gets off the case, gets onto the stage and directs with ruthless efficiency.

Listen very carefully
Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once…

BaCStage presents ‘Allo ‘Allo ~ April 2019

This amateur production of ‘Allo ‘Allo is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH LTD.


‘Allo ‘Allo, what’s going on ‘ere then?

Welcome to 2019, dear reader. Don’t be deceived by a lack of blog activity lately; we have been busy rehearsing ‘Allo ‘Allo. There is at least one thing in this country related to Europe that is going well…

It’s hard work, being an actor, but someone has to do it!

Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once (more)

We have just one more audition for ‘Allo ‘Allo, on Tuesday evening.  All are welcome to come along any time between 7:30pm and 9:30pm.  It’s been great to see new faces at both of the auditions we’ve held so far, and we’re well on the way to casting the show, but it’s not too late to get involved!

Extra audition – Tuesday November 27th, 7:30pm

Download the ‘Allo ‘Allo Audition Pack for more details, including a description of each of the characters.

'Allo 'Allo Audition Poster

There is obviously no piss for the wicked

Open auditions for our next production Allo ‘Allo are taking place next week at the Old Day School in Bluntisham.

Thursday November 22nd, 7:30pm
Saturday November 24th, 10:30am
Extra audition – Tuesday November 27th, 7:30pm

All are welcome, no previous experience is needed.

Download the ‘Allo ‘Allo Audition Pack for more details, including a description of each of the characters.

'Allo 'Allo Audition Poster

If you fail to attend we will be notifying Berlin.

It’s a Wonderful Set-up

Production week is here again!  It’s a Wonderful Life takes to the stage this week.  Tickets are on sale now from Bluntisham Service Station and TicketSource.

Book now

Set-up day had barely got started when the wet and windy weather threatened to make it take-down day, as the TV aerial on the ODS threatened to fall down.  This prompted numerous questions including “why has the ODS got a TV aerial?”, “has the ODS got a TV aerial?”, “have we got a video?” and “did Nick put that aerial up?”

ODS TV Aerial

BoltsThankfully, by the end of the day the aerial was safely removed thanks to Ray Edwards, long term village resident, firework maestro and builder.  These recovered artifacts offer a clue to its demise.

Nick was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

DerekElsewhere, set-up day continued apace.  It fell to chairman Ron to inform Derek that he was not to be involved in this production.  Having broken the news, Ron evaded any further peril by climbing some stairs.


We transported our bits and bobs to the village hall in a van very kindly supplied by Warboys Van Hire, to whom we are grateful as ever.  We transport everything by van, and I mean everything.

Once everything was transported we set about constructing the studio of the BaCStage Radio Theatre.

The Studio


There’s the studio, taking shape nicely.

The traditional fish & chip lunch also featured cake, thanks to Gordon whose birthday it was.  Having said that, the way he’s brandishing that knife (on a pre-cut cake, as well) I’m not sure if he’s really sharing.

As our regular reader will know, we take health and safety very seriously at BaCStage.  Thomas did his level best to protect his fellow actors from trip hazards, but unfortunately, despite his best efforts, one careless cast member still managed to come a cropper.

Health and Safety

This photo was in no way staged, oh no.

By the end of the day we were ready to go…

On Air

Join us at the BaCStage Radio Theatre for our presentation of It’s a Wonderful Life.  Tickets are on sale now priced at  £8 for advance sales and £8.50 on the door.

Book now

It’s a Wonderful Life

Adapted for radio-on-stage from the 1946 Frank Capra film by

Tony Palermo

performed by kind permission of Tony Palermo

Director: Peter Dodds

Thursday 18, Friday 19 and Saturday 20 October 2018
7.30 pm
Bluntisham Village Hall

It's a Wonderful Life


‘Allo ‘Allo auditions in November

We will be holding open auditions for our spring 2019 production ‘Allo ‘Allo on November 22nd and 24th.

Those of you who have been paying attention will know that our production for the spring of 2019 is ‘Allo ‘Allo, the classic TV sitcom transferred to the stage by the original authors Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft.  Cafe Rene will be opening its doors in early April, and as soon as it does it will be full of Germans, the French resistance, that Italian captain and even that English twit who thinks he can speak French.  How is a decent, honest cafe owner supposed to conceal from the Germans the two British airman he his hiding, not to mention conceal from his wife the two affairs with the waitresses that he is having?

If you would like to be part of ‘Allo ‘Allo come along to one of our open auditions on

Thursday November 22nd at 7:30pm
Saturday November 24th at 10:30am
at the Old Day School, Bluntisham

No previous acting experience is required. You don’t need to prepare anything for the audition, just turn up.

Rehearsals will start early in the new year.  Production week runs from Saturday March 30th to Sunday April 7th 2019.  You will need to be available for that week, and for a minimum of 80% of the rehearsals.

As well as all the much-loved characters from the TV series, the stage play also features a number of parts for non-speaking extras (customers at the cafe) which give you a chance to get a taste for being on stage without the need to learn lines!

Download the Audition Pack for more details.

Allo Allo auditions


Sound Men

These two are two sound men.

Sound Men

You might be looking at that picture and thinking that they look decidedly unsound.  You may also be wondering why they are manning a bric-a-brac stall at a church fete (other denominations, including the absence thereof, are available).

A load of old toot

This though, is the sound effects table for our next production, It’s a Wonderful Life.  While the actors are doing their thing on one half of the stage these two gentlemen will be creating most of the sound effects live on the other half of the stage, using a varied assortment of items, and that is what makes them “sound men”.

They won’t be creating all of the sound effects.  We are not, for example, allowed to park an actual 1940’s taxi in the village hall, nor are we allowed to break a couple of actual windows per performance.  It is also not possible to authentically recreate the sound of a man hurling himself off a bridge into the raging torrent below, in the midst of a howling gale, without contravening more Health and Safety regulations than you could shake a stick at, the shaking of said stick adding an extra H & S violation.  Tricky.

Among the sounds they will be creating, live and without a safety net, are: family dinner time, shop door bell, a variety of doors opening, closing, locked and being bolted, an old-fashioned type-writer, a mynah bird shaking its feathers, ice cracking, walking through snow and a naked woman in a hydrangea bush (these are sound effects only, remember).

Sound effects with menacesWe are told that the baseball bat is also needed purely for the creation of sound effects, but one can’t help wondering whether it is a desperate ploy on the part of the director to corral the acting talent into learning their lines and not larking about during rehearsals.  Only time will tell.

Back to our “sound men”; how will they be creating all of these sound effects live on stage?  We don’t have to wait long to find out.  They will be performing these audible marvels in less than two months, when It’s a Wonderful Life takes to the stage.  There will also be some acting, and some singing too – fear not though, our “sound men” will not be attempting to harmonize at any point during the show!


It’s a Wonderful Life
~ October 18th – 20th 2018 ~
Bluntisham Village Hall

BaCStage needs your help: Treasurer and DIY-ers wanted

BaCStage Needs You!BaCStage are looking for a new treasurer to look after our finances for us.  Previous experience of book-keeping would be useful but not essential.  Our current treasurer, Jane, would like to hand the role over to someone else to give her more time for the various other things she does for us.  She is more than happy to help bring the new person up to speed.

We are also looking for some DIY-ers to help us with the ongoing project of maintaining our home, the Old Day School in Bluntisham.  As you may know, the ODS is a Victorian building and as such it is old and a bit crumbly round the edges (like some of our actors – yoof Ed).  Our next day of cleaning, tidying, painting, decorating and general maintenance is on Saturday August 11th and any help will be much appreciated.

If you can help us out with either our books or our maintenance we’d love to hear from you – leave us a comment here or on our facebook page, or mail us at

What’s in it for you?  Well, along with the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get from helping out your local am-dram group, you will also become part of the BaCStage social circle which ranges from regular post-rehearsal pub trips to the Green Man in Colne to the more ambitious adventures we sometimes undertake.  Those of us who “do” BaCStage do it for the drama, and also for the socialising.  In case you’re wondering, helping us out behind the scenes doesn’t mean you’ll be press-ganged into getting up on stage but if you ever decide you fancy trying a bit of acting, you’ll be in the perfect place!



Auditions this week!

We’re holding auditions for our next production, It’s a Wonderful Life, this Thursday evening at 7:30pm at the ODS.

What?!  Don’t you people know there’s a World Cup on?  It’s England v Belgium on Thursday night!  What were you thinking of, having your auditions then? – Sports Ed.

Fear not sports fans, for we have a second audition on Saturday morning at 10, also at the ODS.

Both are open auditions – anyone is welcome to come along.  Don’t worry if you don’t know the story or what part you might play – Peter the director will tell you all about it and suggest roles you might be interested in.

We hope to see you there!

It's a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life, being an actor

Our autumn production for 2018 is to be It’s a Wonderful Life, a “radio on stage play” adaptation of the classic movie.

Our regular reader will know that we planned to put this on last year but were unable to do so due to a lack of available acting talent at the time.  It’s such a good show though that we’re determined to make it happen this time round.

Peter in Virtue Triumphant (2016)

We will be holding open auditions on June 28th and 30th at the Old Day School in Bluntisham. All are welcome to come along and read for a part.  No prior acting experience is necessary and you don’t need to prepare anything beforehand – just come along to the ODS, have a chat with Peter the director and meet some of us in a relaxed and friendly setting.  We’ll be reading excerpts from the script, chosen by Peter to showcase each of the characters in the play.  There may even be tea and biscuits!

All welcome – no experience necessary

You can mix the drinks for you and Sandra
Zoë and me in Breezeblock Park (2011)

Now, you might be thinking that this acting lark looks like fun but you’re not sure if it’s really for you.  I know I thought that before I joined BaCStage.  I saw several shows and was tempted to get involved but never quite got around to it until Zoë persuaded me to give it a try.  I made my stage debut in Breezeblock Park (having never done any acting before) and the rest, as they say, is history.  The only regret I have is that I didn’t get involved sooner.

Don’t just take my word for it though – here is what one of our newest members Gary had to say about his BaCStage debut as Count Puchlik in our most recent production:

Secondary Cause of Death was the first play or any form of acting that I’d done since 1986. Having never acted as an adult or worked closely with a group like BaCStage that regularly put on performances I didn’t really know what to expect when Luke invited me along to the ODS back in August.

Gary as Count Puchlik, Secondary Cause of Death (2018)

You have all been so welcoming, patient, supportive and amazing to work and be with. There was never any criticism from anyone only suggestions or alternative ways of performing, delivering a line, moving on stage or interacting with another character. It was always done with positivity and encouragement. I couldn’t have asked for anything more or anything better.

It’s now been 3 days since we departed Bagshot House and I find myself on a Tuesday with an huge empty hole where it once stood. This has been a fantastic experience and I feel completely deflated now that we’re no longer meeting for rehearsals or performances. I walked into Cambridge at lunchtime today and went through my lines, not out loud as I’d probably be arrested, but I really miss Puchlik and the rest of the cast of characters in this play.

So, really all I wanted to say to each of you was THANK YOU for welcoming me into your family and for delivering what we and the audience agreed was a great show.

If you’d like a piece of that for yourself, come along and meet us in June!

It's a Wonderful Life

About It’s a Wonderful Life:

Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed and directed by Frank Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life first appeared in cinemas in 1946. Today it is considered a timeless classic, one of the most popular and critically acclaimed films of all time. Although not originally intended as a Christmas movie it has become synonymous with the festive season. It tells the story of George Bailey, a selfless man who dedicates his life to helping others in his home town of Bedford Falls. Events conspire against him until he concludes he’d be worth more dead than alive, and contemplates suicide. At this point his guardian angel Clarence intervenes to show him just how much he means to his family and friends and that his is truly a wonderful life.