Wartime laughter

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Allo Allo - Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

This week Lowther Pavilion is occupied by an invasion of Di Prutton’s production of the stage version of this popular television series. Rene’s café in Vichy France is the setting for a lively ensemble piece where every character provides comic moments.

The perplexed, randy Rene, an unlikely sex symbol, played in a suitably beleaguered way by Jeff Redfearn, enjoys the attention of the leggy, lustful waitresses, Mimi (Ann Dawson) and Yvette (Karen Jackson) whilst evading the advances of Andy Cooke’s deliciously simpering Lieutenant Gruber.

As the quest for the Fallen Madonna with the big accessories, hidden in what must be theatre’s most salacious sausage, gathers pace, Ian Edmondson’s Gestapo agent, Herr Flick, fetching in his cinema usherette’s disguise, makes the most of his suppressed desire for the seductive Helga (Bernadette Scully).

The singing of Madame Edith, excruciatingly delivered by Shirley Croasdale as the German officers cram their ears with cheese, the mangled vowels of Roger Prutton’s Officer Crabtree, the vanity of Bob Gemmell’s Von Strohm, Chris Slack’s philandering Bartorelli and John Lomax’s Leclerc as a cockatoo vendor – all contribute amusing highlights to keep the audience entertained.

Double-entendre and suggestive innuendo combine with caricatures of national stereotypes in an evening written and played entirely for laughs.

Runs until Saturday