Dads Army





Captain Mainwaring Tony Wall Miss Ironside Julie Foard Mrs Fox Alison Kelin Director Adam Graystone
Sergeant Wilson Ian Lambert Waitress/Lady Brenda Manual-Warner Ivy Samways Barbara E Windsor Pub Scenes Director Tony Wall
Lce Corp Jones Bryan Warner Chief Warden Hodges Dave Beavis Edith Parish Jacky Cook Musical Director Rob Randall
Pte Frazer Sid Dolbear Verger Anthony Black Mrs Gray Maureen King Stage Management Tony Meldon
Pte Walker Karl Cottle Colonel Simon Nicol Mrs Pike Maureen Philips Sound Dave Korman
Pte Pike Daniel Webb U-Boat Captain Des Wilby     Lighting Ben Morrison
Pte Godfrey Rob Searle            
            Photography James Cook


Surrey Advertiser (Theo Spring)


It was Adam Graystone's bright idea to write a script involving the well known characters from TV's Dad's Army and Wallop brought this amusingly to the stage, directed by the author.

With the recent sad death of Clive Dunn, who had played Corporal Jones so delightfully on the box, it was if he was back again in the hands of Bryan Warner who had him to a tee.

Other good mimics were Ian Lambert as the laconical Sgt Wilson, Sid Dolbear with a great Scottish accent as Private Fraser, Daniel Webb as the be-scarfed "stupid boy" Pike and Karl Cottle as the spivvy Private Walker.

To Tony Wall went the shows laurels for stepping in to the central role as Captain Mainwaring at just two week's notice.

The group's ladies were not forgotten in a potentially all-made production, as the second half entitled Mum's Army involved an "ahead of it's time" scenario that ladies could enlist in the Home Guard too.

Good voices are one of Wallop's strengths and so it was off to the local pub for a singsong are each Act, allowing for good renditions of war-time songs with audience participation encouraged.

Two of the Andrews Sisters' hits were tunefully performed and I invidiously single out Barbara Windsor's White Cliffs of Dover for its emotion and charm. The well-researched costumes were also hers.

As always with Wallop, the number of members involved is always large so congratulations on this fun evening and a mention for the all-important pianist, Rob Randall.


NODA (Tony Sweeney)

This was a refreshingly different production built around two episodes of the classic TV series with two sing song bar scenes that really worked to give us all an entertaining evening. The sizable audience sat on table's cabaret style to enjoy the show and an excellent fish supper
The show obviously contains some really well defined and strong characters, which presents quite a challenge, and in the main the cast were true to the spirit of the show. All were the right age and social class for the individual they depicted. This however was more than mere imitation the players really worked hard to internalise their part. The characters were instantly recognisable both physically (costumes etc) and by their mannerisms. All looked the part and the movement and facial expressions all reinforced this.

Players - Leading

Tony Wall (Captain Mainwaring) despite being a last minute stand-in handled the challenge well relying on a clipboard to disguise a script as an aid.  He did manage to convey the pomposity of the character through his excellent acting skills and strong stage presence.
Ian Lambert (Sergeant Wilson) again captured the spirit of the character complete with the mannerisms and wistful style associated with the TV role.  This all contributed to an extremely good performance.
Bryan Warner (Lce Corporal Jones) complete with some wonderful make up and props was the very embodiment of Corporal Jones even down to the delays during drills.  Again an excellent performance.
Sid Dolbear (Pte Frazer) complete with Scottish accent again got into the character well.  His rendition of "run rabbit run" was particularly good enabling him to display his vocal skills.
Karl Cottle (Pte Walker) gave a solid performance but perhaps wasn't quite weaselly enough to be convincing as a spiv which was a very common stereotype both in the war time culture itself and in the TV series.
Rod Searle (Pte Godfrey) was superb in the role timid and over polite he was the epitomy of the character.  As well as good acting skills he has an excellent singing voice as shown in the bar scene.  This was an excellent performance all round.
Daniel Webb (Pte Pike) the original "Stupid Boy" both looked the part complete with characteristic scarf but also managed to convey the feel of the role by good facial expressions and body language.  He gave an excellent performance.
Julie Foard (Miss Ironside) as a land girl gave a good supporting performance during the second act.
Brenda Manual-Warner (Waitress/Girl) again gave a brief but solid performance overall.
Dave Beavis (Chief Warden Hodges) played a good supporting role as the archenemy of Captain Mainwaring.  He was aided by an authentic looking costume which helped reinforce the role.
Anthony Black (Verger) made a brief appearance and again managed to depict the character well.  His performance of  "When I'm cleaning windows" including playing the Uke was impressive.
Des Wilby (U Boat Captain) was suitably surly and this helped give the character impact.  His performance stayed true to the classic episode and this gave the whole first act bite. He slipped easily into the supporting cast for the second act.
Simon Nicol (Colonel) again had a small part which he performed well.  He displayed a good singing voice with his rendition of "We're going to hang out the washing" and was clearly enjoying himself.
Alison Kelin (Mrs. Fox) as one of the women recruited to help the Home Guard gave a solid performance and delivered the part well.
Barbara E Windsor (Ivy Samways/Mrs Prosser) displayed some nice character traits and facial expressions throughout to deliver a nice supporting performance.
Jacky Cook (Edith Parish) as the rather common usherette befriended by Walker was good in the role and delivered her lines well and in character throughout.
Maureen King (Mrs Gray) played the part of a woman that Mainwaring is strongly attracted too.  The part calls for her to be an upper middle class gentile woman and this is how she played it.  A very competent piece of character acting I thought.
Maureen Phillips (Mrs Pike) as Pike's mother had a relatively small part and played it well.

An excellent supporting group that really came into their own in the two bar scenes.  They acted well and sung some real classics of the time the rendition of "We'll meet again" by Liz Hopkins was particularly good she has an excellent voice and perfect for the song which also closed the show keeping to the overall spirit.

In an impressive directorial debut Adam Graystone showed real empathy with the characters and the overall feel of the show benefited from this.

Stage Management
With a large cast and some 18 scenes the stage management needed to be slick and it was using darkness to hide the movement of furniture etc when needed.  These were all carried out with great speed and efficiency.  All the entrances and exits were well worked out to help give the show impact.

A good clear sound throughout both for the dialogue and the singing added well to the show.

The lighting worked well to help emphasise the focus of the action.

The make up was subtle and worked well.  The make up for the female members of the cast reflected that for the period.

Set Design
The set was well designed to enable the focus to move into different aspects of the plot quickly.  It was not over elaborate which helped the audience focus on the action in the show.

All the props were on hand when needed.  The guns looked quite real and added to the impact.

The costumes were good in period with the uniforms matching in terms of cap badges etc.  Some members of the platoon did not have a belt but given the period it was set in this may well have been the case.  Pike scarf was ideal for his role and helped identify the character.

An excellent programme listing the scenes and the songs as well as the cast details.  The front cover design drawing from the TV titles which again reinforced the theme for the evening, it might be worth the group submitting it for the regional /national programme awards.

Front of house
The front of house was provided by some of the cast in costume which helped develop the feel of the evening.  They were welcoming and effective making everyone feel part of the experience.