'Allo 'Allo

June 2016


Acorn Antiques 2015 Mack & Mabel 2014 Masquerade 2013 Titanic The Musical 2012

Acorn Antiques 2015

It was Curtain Up! on a new era for Denmead Operatic Society as we presented "Acorn Antiques The Musical", by Victoria Wood - our first show under the new name of Curtain Up! Productions at the Petersfield Festival Hall from 25th-27th June 2015.

Mack & Mabel 2014

Mack and Mabel, the story of the relationship between early film producer Mack Sennett and his star Mabel Normand, was presented at the Petersfield Festival Hall from 15th-17th May 2014.

Masquerade 2013

This was an exciting new venture: presenting our very own show, written especially for us by Ian Clark, at the Park Community School in Havant from 29th May to 1st June 2013.

Titanic The Musical 2012

To mark the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, we presented this spectacular musical at the Park Community School from 6th-9th June 2012. It was a great success and we won a NODA Accolade of Excellence for the production.

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Formerly Denmead Operatic Society
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What's next?

We are reprising our 2010 production of 'Allo 'Allo at the Petersfield Festival Hall from 9th to 11th June. This is the stage version of the hilarious BBC TV series of the same name, set in France during the second world war. Click here to find out more about the show and buy your tickets.

2015 John Westbrook Award

As Hilary Westbrook, John's widow, could not attend any of the Acorn Antiques performances due to prior commitments, she delegated the nomination of the John Westbrook Award for 2015 to Val Sykes. Val chose to award the trophy to Mandy Clowes, saying: 'When there are not so many people on stage, each member of the supporting cast is clearly visible and it is extra important to give it everything. Mandy was always fully involved om each scene she was in, acting and reacting to others very well. I loved the three backing "beehive" singers number and she was clearly really enjoying it,'

Raise FREE money for CUP

Doing your shopping on-line? Why not raise money for Curtain Up! Productions at the same time - at absolutely no cost to yourself? You get access to all of your favourite on-line and high street retailers and pay the same prices that you would normally - all that happens is that CUP receives a percentage of the total of your shopping, which can be as much as 3% of the amount you spend. Since we started this scheme, the society has received a total of £580.59 at a cost of absolutely nothing!  Click here to find out more and sign up to start generating money. Note that we are still registered as Denmead Operatic Society with easyfundraising.


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What's Next

This website is currently being updated. Click here for details of all events and shows we have planned, or find us on Facebook.

Show News

Click here to see the show page for our fantastic June 2016 production of 'Allo 'Allo.

Recent Events


Mandy Clowes receives 2015 John Westbrook Award

Mandy Clowes was awarded the 2015 John Westbrook Trophy for her performance in Acorn Antiques. Read more >>

'Allo 'Allo
9th - 11th June 2016
The Festival Hall, Petersfield

Allo Allo publicity poster
Allo Allo Programme Cover

Produced and Directed
Ian Clark

Nick Cole

The French

Rene - Will Donnelly
Edith - Kaye Lee-Wright
Yvette - Diane Jepson
Leclerc - Graham Cranmer
Michelle - Samantha Spivey
Mimi - Megan Brand
The Germans
Colonel Von Strohm - Mark De Salis
Capt. Alberto Bertorelli - Luke Brand
Herr Otto Flick - Ian Clark
Helga - Nadine Darnley De Salis
Lieut. Gruber - Ryan Richards
General Von Schmelling - Peter Forsdyke
The British
Crabtree - Mike Lawrence
The British Airmen - Ray Hunt & Suren Johanssen
'London Calling' - Tony Lee-Wright
'Nature Loving Norma' - Jayne Green
Sophie Dulake, Steph Clark, Sarah Winship,
Pat White, Hilary Glanville, Julie Johanssen

Show photographs taken by Steve Day.

A Very Enjoyable Evening

Derived from the successful TV series of the same name, the stage version of ‘Allo ‘Allo is more than just a rehash of several episodes, it is a story in its own right. It uses most of the familiar characters and catchphrases and anyone who enjoyed the TV silliness will love this too. Director Ian Clark has enhanced the standard script by inserting some appropriate wartime songs, generally between scenes, to lengthen what would otherwise have been quite a short show. The songs were accompanied by an on-stage pianist (Nick Cole), a nice touch.

The curtain opened to reveal René’s café – a most impressive set built by Keith Dulake – and director Ian Clark wisely used some extra staging in front of the main stage to smooth the flow of action for scenes in the café back room, Colonel Von Strohm’s office and the Gestapo headquarters.

Leading the action, and on-stage for most of the show, was Will Donnelly, who gave a fine performance as the affable café owner René, desperately trying to please everyone and keep the different sides apart, when he wasn’t canoodling with the waitresses. Will’s acting and accent were good throughout and you really warmed to his character, sympathising when events inevitably conspired against him. I particularly liked his “freeze-frame” asides to the audience.  As René’s wife Edith, Kaye Lee-Wright gave an excellent portrayal of a nagging shrew, only too pleased to perform her cabaret act or help her husband conceal the much sought-after painting of The Fallen Madonna With the Big Boobies. For someone like Kaye, who has a beautiful soprano voice, singing so excruciatingly off-key requires a lot of talent. She did it perfectly!

Diane Jepson and Megan Brand played the seductive Yvette and the firebrand Mimi to perfection, both taking every opportunity to kiss René whenever his wife wasn’t looking – Mimi even bringing her own little stool to stand on. Samantha Spivey gave the role of Michelle (of the Resistance) exactly the right hint of cloak and dagger, mixed with incompetence, and Graham Cranmer was good as Leclerc, the master of disguise. I thought the scenes with the parrot radio were some of the funniest in the show. Mike Lawrence really entertained us as Officer Crabtree, whose appalling grasp of the French language must have been a nightmare to learn.

For the Germans, Mark De Salis did a nice, cowardly Colonel Von Strohm, with a very wayward hairpiece, and Ian Clark seemed to enjoy every minute as the Gestapo Officer, Otto Flick – a great performance. Nadine Darnley portrayed his sidekick Helga really well, totally besotted with her commander and willing to do anything for him, and Peter Forsdyke was suitably bombastic as General Von Schmelling, barging in and upsetting all of their plans for post-war prosperity. We mustn’t forget the Italian contingent: Luke Brand was magnificently flamboyant as the womanising Capt. Alberto Bertorelli, always the first to put his foot in it. Last, but most definitely not least, was Ryan Richards as a very camp Lieut. Gruber. His actions, stance and facial expressions were beautifully observed and well maintained throughout, never taking it too far, and his comic timing was spot-on.

The costumes (especially the military uniforms) were superb, looking just right for the period, and the attention to detail extended even to the ladies’ 1940s’ hairstyles. Congratulations must go to Helen Dulake for sourcing what must have been a most bizarre props list – including a dead parrot, two inflatable Hitlers and a suspender belt with mousetraps attached! The lighting was cleverly designed, highlighting action on the extended stage but also showing the pianist when necessary. All of the actors wore head microphones and the sound quality was good, so there were no problems following what was happening.

I felt that, at times, the pace was rather laboured and there seemed to be some gaps between scenes, where we were just waiting for the actors to come on. It would have been nice to have used the on-stage pianist to bridge these gaps with some appropriate tunes. Also, some quiet background chatter from the people in the café would have added atmosphere – though there was some good crowd acting going on there – nicely understated.

It was a very enjoyable evening with some really good performances and nice directorial touches bringing this TV favourite back to life on the stage. Congratulations to everyone involved.

Mark Donalds NODA Rep

Curtain Up! Productions is a Registered Charity - No. 1021763

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