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2003 - Summer
THE WHITE VAN
THE WHITE VAN
Blakeney Players – Blakeney Village Hall
Written by the locals, performed by the locals and most certainly enjoyed by the locals, “The White Van”, written by Michael and Sue Andrews is this year’s “new play with music” performed by The Blakeney Players.
Set in 1950s Blakeney the play has three main settings. Having just moved into the village the snobbish Mrs Mahonia Wolf-Byte (Barbara Franklin) is out to impress her equally snobbish friends with a huge party despite the apathy of her hapless husband, Hector, (Dave Long). Hector, however, has an identical twin brother, Larry, also played by Dave Long with more than a hint of a Michael Caine accent, who, as well as owning a white van, has a shed on the old aerodrome which is his headquarters for a string of dodgy dealings and it is no great surprise when one of these involves his sister-in –law who wants a new fitted kitchen.
Helped by his team of useless Teddy boy workers Larry bites off more than he can chew when he is asked to fence some valuable royal paintings which have been stolen en route from Sandringham to an exhibition in Norwich. The pictures have been stolen by an all female team of “Teatime Tappers” led by Jazz (Marjorie Davies) but the pictures become muddled with some flat packs containing fitted kitchens and general chaos ensues, with both Hector and Larry almost in the same place at the same time, before the local police force – a team of four! - led by Sergeant Ernest Brown (Steve Benson) recover the paintings and Larry and his chums head off for New York.
The Players perform their songs with a great deal of enthusiasm – “The Sun Has Got His Hat On”, “ A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One”, “ The Teddy Boy’s Picnic” and “42nd Street” – are amongst those which are worked into the script and Marjorie Davies, the choreographer works miracles to make tap dancers out of some unlikely performers, notably Martyn Scott who gives a fine performance as the most gormless of Larry’s side-kicks, Tich.
Michael Andrews, who plays the part of the Wolf-Byte’s butler, Wilson, links the action together well and it is obvious that the whole cast enjoyed the performance as much as the audience, both locals and visitors alike.