Category Archives: Rehearsals


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!

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

Listen very carefully… we have Wonderful news!

It’s been a bit quiet round BaCStage Towers lately.  We have mostly been melting in the heat.  You know the heat wave has gone on too long when even the trashy papers can’t be bothered with headlines about it being hotter than Rio / Madrid / Mallorca / Mordor / the centre of the sun / the fires of hell / my pants (delete as appropriate).

However, lack of outward signs of activity does not mean we haven’t been busy.  Besides wilting, and avidly following / avoiding / ignoring the recent World Cup (remember that?) we have been busily working on our next two – yes, two! – productions.

A timeless classic, with a twist

Firstly, after successful auditions in June we have cast It’s a Wonderful Life for our Autumn 2018 production.  Rehearsals started last week, and we’re delighted to welcome another newcomer, Alan.  The full cast will be published here soon.

It’s a Wonderful Life, based on the timeless classic Frank Capra film, has been adapted as a “radio on stage” play by Tony Palermo.  The performance focuses on the voice characterisations of over 30 characters by just eleven actors, so most of us will be doubling, tripling or even quadrupling up on the number of parts we play.  Will we be able to pull it off?  Come along in October to find out!

An English farce with a European story line

Looking further ahead, in April 2019 we are planning a production of ‘Allo, ‘Allo.  Written by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, the same authors as the hit TV show, the stage version of ‘Allo ‘Allo plays like a feature-length, “greatest hits” version of the sitcom featuring favourite characters – and jokes – that made it such a big success.  It is also very timely – what could be more appropriate as our first post-Br*x*t production than an English farce with a European story line?

We will be holding open auditions for ‘Allo ‘Allo in November (once we’ve completed It’s a Wonderful Life) with a view to casting it before Christmas* and starting rehearsals early in the new year.

Social media in “positive outcome” shock

In more good news, we’d like to thank Manda for coming forward and volunteering to help us with our treasurer vacancy after seeing our advert on that there internet.  Thank you Manda!

Stay tuned for more details on all things BaCStage…

* apologies for using the C-word in early August, and for using the B-word at all, in any context, ever.

18 and counting…


18 dead deceased murdered copses?  That would be going some with a cast of only 10 characters.  Many secondary causes of death there…

18 days till opening night?  As it happens, at the time of writing there are, but we’re not having a balloon countdown every day.

An 18th birthday?  Could be – but who?  Is it Cardew, with the dagger?  (Don’t start that again – Ed)

It was in fact Captain Henrietta with the cake.  After three everyone:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday Captainhenriettawoolmercardington,
Happy birthday to you.

Now stop that and get back to rehearsals. We’ve got a show to put on in… how many days?

Don’t mention the War

What’s going on here then?

Count Puchlik

Does this actor have dodgy knees?  Possibly.

Are his trousers overly starchy?  Perhaps.

Or is there something altogether more sinister going on?

Come along to BaCStage’s next show Secondary Cause of Death and find out!  Tickets on sale now.

You can buy your tickets online at TicketSource

Book now
or in person at Bluntisham Service Station

Tickets are £8 in advance, or £8.50 on the door.

SecondaryCOD-18- Leaflet

I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.

(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited

Somebody’s body

This week we took delivery of the Bagshot House sofa.  Our green sofa has done an excellent job as understudy through rehearsals so far, but now we have the real thing.  We’d like to say a big thank you to the good people of Emmaus Cambridge for lending us the sofa, and also a bookcase; after all, a library isn’t a library without a bookcase.

So here it is, for the first time ever – Colonel Craddock’s new old sofa.


Very nice!  But what is that on the sofa, hidden beneath Inspector Pratt’s trademark overcoat?

Has Inspector Pratt fallen asleep?  Never!  He never falls asleep on the job, although he has been known to rest his frontal cranial lobotomy area after a hard day’s detection.

Perhaps it is somebody’s body.  Maybe it’s nobody’s body.

There’s only one way to find out – book yourself in for a stay at Bagshot House Hotel and join us for an evening of murder, mystery, mayhem, double agents, double crossing, double entendres, and Pratt.  Tickets on sale now!

You can buy your tickets online at TicketSource

Book now
or in person at Bluntisham Service Station

Tickets are £8 in advance, or £8.50 on the door.

Secondary Cause of Death

(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited

Colonel Craddock, in the library, with the brass monkeys

Now, you may not be aware of this as it didn’t receive much coverage in the news, but it actually snowed in some parts of Britain last week.  I know!

Storm Emma, the Beast from the East, an Arctic blast, dozens of cancelled rail services, hundreds of closed schools, the end of the world as we know it, or, as our friends in continental Europe would describe this type of weather at this time of year, “Thursday”.

(Of course, we will only have to put up with this sort of thing for one more winter, then those pesky Europeans can keep their cold weather.  We will take back control of our weather and be bathed all year round in warm sunshine (but not too hot), tousled by light breezes, it’ll only rain at night, we’ll be playing cricket in November, unicorn polo in February and having Pimms on the lawn at 3pm sharp every day – hurrah!  Truly it will be a brighter future – Brexit Ed)

Meanwhile, back in the present day (not to mention the real world – Common-sense Ed) it has been a tad nippy lately.  It might just have something to do with us at BaCStage.  It wouldn’t be the first time we have adversely affected the weather.  We haven’t had a barbecue lately, but our next production is set in early spring and heavy snowfall does play a small part in the plot. Secondary Cause of Death is a send-up of a murder mystery in the Agatha Christie style, where an oddball collection of characters find themselves in a conveniently isolated location and cut off from the outside world by said heavy snow, leaving the murderer (or murderers) in their midst free to carry out their murderously murderous murderousness.  The presence of Inspector Pratt may even prove to be more of a help than a hindrance…

The snow was already starting to melt by the time our photographer dragged himself out of bed to take this picture of the “SnowDS”.  Some of us just aren’t morning people, OK?

Is it just a coincidence that as we are getting into full swing building the set and rounding up props, the heavens open and deliver just the sort of snowfall specified in the script?  Or is the world a bigger stage than you can shake a stick at?  (No, it’s just a coincidence – Snowflake Ed)

(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 (weather permitting) ~ Bluntisham Village Hall
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited

Tickets on sale soon!

You leave them alone for 5 minutes…

Ron thought it would be a good idea to have a whiteboard and calendar in the ODS, to convey useful information such as “what we’re rehearsing this week” or “when actors will be missing rehearsals” or…

Wot no dog?

Indeed.  Give a bunch of overgrown children a marker pen and whiteboard and you’ve only got yourself to blame really, Ron.

In the interests of open-ness and accurate finger-pointing it should be noted that this was not the work of an actor but of a member of the stage crew, who shall remain nameless.  Gordon does have a point though – it’s been a while since a dog featured in a post on this blog.

I'll be back

Eventually we did get some useful information.


With that much “abstinence” coming up we may need a bigger whiteboard.  Fear not though, loyal punter, none of us have anything planned for production week.  Not a thing, nada, zilch, zip, nothing at all.

Apart from putting on a show, of course – Ed.

Oh yes, that.  I knew there was something…

(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited


If you build it, they will orally articulate

Bagshot House is starting to take shape.

Bagshot House

Looks like Colonel Craddock could do with getting the decorators in though.  Not to mention some doors.  Bonus point if you can spot part of the set from Virtue Triumphant there.

Like moths to a flame, actors are inexorably drawn to a stage set.  They just can’t stop themselves from getting up and performing (it’s called “rehearsing” – Ed).

Actors, acting

Just as well, really.  If they only did this sort of thing at home then the rest of us would never get to see it (what actors actually do get up to at home is their own business, of course, although we could probably sell tickets for that too).

We’ll find out what they’re up to when Secondary Cause of Death takes to the stage.  Whether Inspector Pratt manages to figure it out is another matter entirely!

(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall