EST. 1978



'Allo 'Allo is fondly remembered by those old enough to remember the hilarious BBC sitcom created by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd which tells the tale of occupied France during the second world war. Set in the small village of Nouvion the story focuses around Café Rene and its owner Rene Artois and his wife Edith who are caught up in all manner of situations. Dryburn Theatrical Workshop certainly evoked our memories of what was known as a one of the best institutions of British comedy. It was obvious from the moment that I stepped into the centre that the audience had come with the sole purpose of enjoying themselves, set out in café style the production team under the competent direction of Michelle Coulson had worked hard to create such an authentic atmosphere, complete with a very convincing set and very authentic costumes which helped with characterisation. Music was in the capable hands of Brian Pennick and I loved the fact that the piano was positioned in Rene’s café to accompany Edith’s cabaret moments; completing the production team Helen Wilson providing choreography.

Lawrence Clark excelled as Rene, his characterisation of the anxious café-owner was very convincing and he certainly made use of his many one liners and innuendoes, his dead pan delivery and handling of the sausage were spot on. Annette Morris gave a sterling performance as Rene’s tone deaf wife Edith I loved the scene where she used the bread rolls in her hair and how the audience were issued with cotton wool to mask her dulcet tones during her cabaret moments. Emma Scott as Yvette and Libby Kennedy as Mimi gave good performances as Rene’s waitresses and lover’s as did Jillaine Hindson who played “I shall say this only once” Michelle head of the résistance. 

Phil Martin was exemplary as the formidable Gestapo Officer, Herr Flick excellent characterisation and his interaction between himself and his German confidant and lover Helga played by Sarah Hutchinson was a joy to watch both throwing themselves into each scene bringing great applause from the audience.  Gary Eglinton as Lieutenant Grubber had great stage presence and his flirtation scenes with René were well received, excellent timing, good characterisation and facial expressions.

Gary Blackbird gave us a confident performance as Colonel Von Strohm with good acting and stage presence as was the professional performance from Joseph Coulson as the womanising Captain Alberto Bertorelli. As always Joseph commands the stage and throws himself into character bringing a polished performance.

Grayson Wood gave a strong performance as General Schelling as did Bill Taylor as Leclerc whilst only a small role he certainly made most of the character with some well timed dialogue. Chris Coates as the British spy Crabtree, disguised as the vowel mangling French gendarme gave a truly entertaining performance never loosing his character and his scenes with Rene’ were very entertaining especially the scene with the blow up Hitler doll. Special mention to those cast members in a cameo role Karen Scott, Rebecca Scott, Kaitlyn Taylor and Frances Wood as the French Peasants and Neil Hindson and Darren Dyson as the British Airmen and finally Lee Passmoor who made a special guest appearance all of whom added to the overall production. The evening was full of laughs delivered by an enthusiastic cast with good pace and timing, well done to everyone at Dryburn Theatrical Workshop.

Author: Peter Oliver


“We went to see Allo Allo last night at Chester le Street and performed by Dryburn Theatre Group. Den and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done everybody. Every part was really well played. It was full of appropriate innuendo's. sooo funny. Congratulations. We could see you all enjoyed as much as we enjoyed watching it"

"Really enjoyed "ALLO ALLO" tonight at chester community centre by DRYBURN workshop.... great to see so many familair faces on and off stage and a packed out hall too! [even won the raffle ] and clapped my hands off of course."

"Once again well done to everyone, I just love this group, what a great show, very funny :), enjoy the rest of the run, now I am looking forward to the panto, oh no your not, oh YES i am!!"

"Eee brilliant loved the set up ! And it was so funny thanks for a great night. Well done everyone."

"Great performance tonight everyone I thoroughly enjoyed Allo Allo you should all be really proud of yourselves."

"Well done everyone! - came to see Allo Allo tonight (Thursday) - great job all round."

"It was a good show - really enjoyed it! Very funny."

"One word BRILL. Well done all the cast."

"Well done everyone you were all fab."

"The characterisations were brilliant and it was a real pleasure watching the audience laughing out loud!"

"It was fab my cheeks were aching off laughing so much."

"Loved the show - great night of entertainment. Every one did brilliant - so funny."

"Well done you lot laughs all the way great evening."

"Fabulous performances, very funny show and the knockwurst stole the show!!"

"Well done everyone, very difficult play to stage but done very well. Best of luck for the rest of the run."