ATLANTIC Coast Theatre start their run of summer season performances this week at various venues across North Devon – and fans of the likes of Lord Percy and Baldrick will be delighted to know the group will be performing three plays from the Blackadder Elizabethan Years.
At each show, ACT will perform Bells, Head and Money. In Bells Prince Edmund (aka Blackadder) confusingly falls in love with his new manservant Bob, who turns out to be a girl in disguise.
Head shows Blackadder in the role of Lord High Executioner and discovers it isn't as easy as he first thought. He finds himself in a slight dilemma after bringing an execution forward in order to allow himself some time off.
And finally, in Money, Edmund finds himself being chased by the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells for money he borrowed a year ago. Edmund tries several ways to try and raise the money which prove to be extremely unconventional and very funny.
"Director Ian Goodenough is very excited about putting on Blackadder and it has helped that many members of the cast were already massive fans before auditions," said ACT administrator Holly Bransby. "Ian has encouraged the cast to do their homework and watch as much of Blackadder at home in an attempt to maintain as much of the original humour and characteristics as possible. The costumes have probably been the biggest challenge as, to save money, they have been made rather than hired, so a big thank you goes to Annette Hennessey for taking on this challenge."
Richard Curtis, the writer of the Blackadder series, has not charged ACT a fee for the rights to the plays. Instead he requested that a donation from each performance be made to Comic Relief.
"An extremely thoughtful and generous deal," added Holly. "This means that audiences are not only in for a guaranteed night of entertainment, but will be supporting a very worthwhile cause as well."
It was just over a month ago that Atlantic Coast Theatre entertained audiences with Victoria Wood's hilarious musical Acorn Antiques at the Queen's Theatre Barnstaple. Catch this latest production at:
Croyde Village Hall, Thursday, August 16 and Thursday, August 23. Tickets: £8 from Croyde Post Office and Georgeham Village Stores.
Dolton Village Hall, Friday, August 17. Tickets: £8 on 01805 804544.
Parracombe Village Hall, Wednesday, August 22. Tickets: £8 from Parracombe Stores (01598 763296) the Fox And Goose (0797 0437403).
Westleigh Village Hall, Friday, August 24. Tickets: £8 from John Metcalfe on 01271 860709.