Review: Blackadder Goes Forth – Cambridge Does Comic Relief

A performance that did justice to the much-loved British comedy

The Corpus Playroom show is an adaptation consisting of the alleged “two best Blackadder episodes” – Private Plane and Goodbyeee. The two aptly chosen episodes, seamlessly blended together in the adaptation, really captured the spirit of the series. The first half of the performance, recreating Private Plane, was absurd and witty. The second half, a recreation of the finale episode Goodbyeee, was laced with incredibly well-executed moments of emotional depth. The adaptation not only paid homage to the original series but the performers also brought a fresh and youthful energy to the show.

Image Credit: Sophie Petrie

The passionate performers were all incredibly well cast. It was entertaining to watch them bounce off one another as they embodied their characters. Sophia Orr, performing as the brash, sex-obsessed Flashheart, had big boots to fill but she perfectly executed the character with sky-high levels of energy and Flashheart’s trademark cockiness. Nia Morris was another stand-out performer, hilariously lunging her way on and off stage as the merciless General Melchett.

Thomas Sweeney as George brought an infectious energy to the show as he practically bounced around the stage. His scenes with Blackadder (Isaac Allen) and Baldrick (Joshua Willis) in the trenches were particularly enjoyable, as all three of the actors contributed to a great dynamic on stage, which was amusing to watch.

Image Credit: Sarah Anderson

Helen Brookes excellently executed three distinct characters, one of which had a flawless German accent (disclaimer: I have no idea what a German accent is supposed to sound like). Niamh Howat’s performance as Darling was equally hilarious.

Considering it was a charity event, and therefore I can only assume their budget was terrifyingly low, the costume and set design was resourceful (where did they get that soil?), and the audio and visual effects were creatively carried out by the crew throughout the performance.

I must admit, adaptations are always hit-or-miss for me, so I was wary going in. But this performance was undeniably a great tribute to Blackadder. The cast captured the essence of the show, while adding their own unique flair to their performances.

A live action student adaptation of a much-loved British comedy was always going to be a tall order, but the cast and crew did an incredible job putting this together. Whether you’re Blackadder-obsessed or you’ve never seen the series, this adaptation is definitely worth a watch. Most importantly, all profits go to Comic Relief, so you can go and enjoy the show whilst knowing you’re contributing to a great cause.

The show is running until Saturday the 16th March. It isn’t one to miss. Get your tickets here.

Feature image credit: Sarah Anderson

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