Say ‘Allo ‘Allo to show by Boston Playgoers

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ONE of the classics of British TV comediy is coming to Boston.

‘Allo, ‘Allo, ran on BBC1 from 1982-1992 and on stage from 1986-1992.

Boston Playgoers have now taken on the challenge of playing its famous characters.

Set in the village of Nouvion, France, during the Second World War, it features, as its main character, René Artois.

He is the most wanted man in occupied France - women want his body, the resistance want his brain and the Nazis want... for his sausage.

A hapless café owner, he and his wife Edith struggle to keep a priceless portrait, The Fallen Madonna by Van Klomp, stolen by the Nazis and hidden in a sausage in the cellar, for themselves.

Adding to René’s litany of woes, the French Resistance are forcing him to hide two British airmen while they try to figure out how to get them back to England.

René must also keep secret his long-running affairs with his two waitresses Yvette Carte-Blanche and Maria Recamier; otherwise his wife may make losing his cherished café the least of his problems.

The original play performed to packed houses at the London Palladium.

The TV and stage shows contained a large amount of classic farce set-ups, physical comedy and visual gags, ridiculous fake accents, a large amount of sexual innuendo, and a fast-paced running string of broad cultural clichés.

The show was designed to spoof war-based film and TV dramas, in particular a BBC1 drama Secret Army, which ran from 1977-79 and dealt with the activities of Belgian escape line workers who returned crashed allied pilots to Britain, based at a café in Brussels.

The show made famous a variety of catchphrases such as ‘listen very carefully, I shall say this only once’, by the leader of the resistance Michelle Dubois, ‘ooooh René’ by waitress Yvette and ‘It is I, LeClerc!’ from monsier Roger LeClerc.

In April 2007 a one-off episode recorded in Manchester caught up with René and other characters while writing his memoirs.

‘Allo ‘Allo runs from next Wednesday, February 16 to Saturday, February 19 at 7.30pm at Blackfriars Arts Centre and Theatre, Boston.

Tickets cost £9 (£8 conc). To book call 01205 363108.