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Sitcom star surprises Lichfield Players cast at rehearsals for new show

The Lichfield Players had a treat in store when ‘Allo ‘Allo star Arthur Bostrom dropped in unexpectedly to rehearsals to wish the cast all the best with their forthcoming stage version based on the hit TV series.

‘Allo ‘Allo runs at the Lichfield Garrick from January 21 to 24.

Dan Anketell as Officer Crabtree, Ian Parkes as Rene, Grace Deavall as Yvette and John Cleaver as Herr Flick, with Arthur Bostrom (centre)

Dan Anketell as Officer Crabtree, Ian Parkes as Rene, Grace Deavall as Yvette and John Cleaver as Herr Flick, with Arthur Bostrom (centre)

“It was lovely for Arthur to give up his time to surprise the cast – they had no idea he was coming,” said producer Kathy Bryers. “He appeared just as our Thursday night rehearsal was beginning and announced his arrival with his ‘Allo ‘Allo character’s trademark line ‘Gid moaning, I was just pissing by’. The cast erupted into cheers and there was such a buzz.

“It was especially exciting for Dan Anketell, who plays Arthur’s part in our production and who has captured his accent perfectly – he’s modelled his performance on Arthur’s character having seen him on TV, so to meet him in person was just brilliant.”

Arthur, who starred as Officer Crabtree in the long-running TV sitcom, came across to the rehearsal at the city’s George IV pub, after his own preparations at the Lichfield Garrick. He is playing the part of Count Dandini de Tartare in Cinderella.

“Arthur was in the first ever stage production of ‘Allo ‘Allo at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham in 1986,” said Kathy. “It’s lovely that, almost 30 years on, the stage play is returning to the Midlands, and we hope it will be just as much of a success.”

The Lichfield Players’ production of ‘Allo ‘Allo opens at the Lichfield Garrick on January 21 for a four-night run. Tickets are priced at £14 (concessions £13 and £10). To book, call the box office on 01543 412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com. There is a also a chance for people to win tickets to see the show  in a charity prize draw at the George IV Pub.

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