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2004 - Summer Show....



"All Steamed Up"

 Blakeney Players, Blakeney VillageHall

 For some fifty years at the start of the last century Blakeney had its own railway station situated at the bottom of what is now Back Lane and there were also two halts, at Bayfield Hall and Glandford and two level crossings, one beside Wiveton Bridge and the other on the coast road. The line carried one train daily and two in the summer holiday season but in the fertile minds of writers Mike and Sue Andrews the small station was busy enough to employ a staff of six and a refreshment room staff of three.

 All Steamed Up is set in and around the Station, the Quay and The Railway Hotel during Regatta Week and covers the period following the retirement of one stationmaster and the appointment of the next with the best kept station competition in the offing. Dave Long plays the part of the hapless railway employee, Albert, who by virtue of his seniority is appointed acting station master but who hasn't the nerve to propose to his long time and long suffering girl-friend Sylvia (Barbara Franklin).

 Albert decides he would be better off earning a living as a bait digger and living in a railway carriage on the quay while his colleagues decide to put a coded messge of proposal in the local paper which only succeeds in attracting a possee of man hungry millionaire seeking yachting wives led by Marjorie Davies. Her professional choreographic skills are always a big asset to the Players and the whole cast's rendition of "An Old Fashioned Millionaire" which ends the first half is first class.

 The Railway Hotel also has a staff of six and the performances of Alison Mawson as the slightly dippy head receptionist who for some reason is determined to buy her husband Bernard (Martyn Scott) a golden pheasant as a first wedding anniversary present and Steve Benson as the manic French chef, Jean-Claude, who is never slow to burst into song are especially strong.

 The team of set designers have worked wonders to get the train into the station and there is a hilarious sequence as small two man boats do battle in the regatta. The big production numbers featuring the whole cast are certainly impressive and there are some good individual numbers, not least from Albert, although perhaps surprisingly "Sylvia's Mother" doesn't get a mention!

 The train runs for the last time tonight (Thursday) but tickets are selling fast and it may well be standing room only. Catch it if you get the chance since "If you miss this one there'll never be another one...." - especially after Dr. Beeching has had his way.

Martin Braybrook