Crampons of Fear, eastern Angles
Crampons of Fear: Julian Harries Eastern Angles, Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich until January 19; Seckford Theatre, Woodbridge. January 22 - 27
Crampons of Fear: Julian Harries
Eastern Angles, Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich until January 19; Seckford Theatre, Woodbridge. January 22 - 27
WHAT you know about a Julian Harries Christmas Show - and he's written 10 for the Eastern Angles Theatre Company - is that it's likely to be a non-stop series of escapades that sends up a movie genre. This time the spotlight falls on the British spy-movie of the Thirties, with Alfred's Hitchcock's The Thirty Nine Steps in the front line.
You may also want to watch:
The show opens with the Pathe News theme complete with cockerel. Europe is heading towards war, and some blackguardly foreign villains would like to help it happen more quickly. But then it's over to the dinner-jacketed BBC, which steps in to send a team of its variety stars on a European tour.
It's that team of stars played by five actors - Tracy Elster, Elizabeth Park, Simon Nock, Tom Peters and Greg Wagland (in his eighth Eastern Angles Christmas Show) - who find themselves entangled in full-speed misadventures that take them to Venice, to the Alps, the face of Big Ben and to the London Palladium.
- 1 Suffolk actress Helen McCrory dies following cancer battle
- 2 Frustrated Suffolk farmer returns dumped items to householders
- 3 'I will be like Demolition Man... there will be a lot of pain' - Cook on his Town squad overhaul
- 4 Matchday Live: Updates as Town travel to The Valley to face Charlton
- 5 12 villages set to receive some of UK's fastest ever broadband
- 6 Death of 'loving' Suffolk woman in crash was 'unmitigated tragedy'
- 7 Rise in number of Covid patients in Suffolk and north Essex hospitals
- 8 Mum-of-three who devoted her life to hospice shop dies of heart attack
- 9 Can Ipswich Town ease the pain of a brutal week with an unlikely victory at Charlton?
- 10 'I've just been completely average' - Town star Woolfenden on his season and Town's struggles
It's a saga of disguises and secret passwords, and endless schemes to capture information vital to Britain. The baddies - the same five actors, of course - are led by Baron von Heüe (who?), a master of disguise whose mother didn't even know him. But then she didn't know his father either.
Our stars include a ventriloquist and his alter ego Raffles, a clairvoyant and a variety duo who turn out to be heroes. They're the Blisses, who, though estranged, could just get it together again if they can overcome a fear of heights when mountain climbing, can refuse to give up passwords when under threat of death, can manage not to fall off Big Ben, and can avoid being blown up .
The actors are all musicians, so we have lots of clever Pat Whymark songs and silly things for the audience to join in and do. The ingenious stage devices include a model ski lift, a marauding seaplane, and a gondola scene.
It's all great fun with lots of film references thrown in. There's the puppet taking over the vent as in Dead of Night, and a fleeting nod in the Venice scene towards the Nicholas Roeg thriller Don't Look Now. MacGuffin, the term Alfred Hitchcock used to describe movie plot devices that move things on, is used as a character's name.