Memories of 80s TV sitcom Hi-de-Hi were revived by Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society (SADOS) with a production of the holiday camp-based farce at South Holland Centre.
The never-ending wait by Maplins’ holiday camp cleaner Peggy Ollerenshaw (Daisy Ivatt) to become a Yellow Coat formed the heart of the show which left a mainly adult audience pleasantly amused, if not exactly collapsing in the aisles with laughter.
Many of the characteristics from the original TV show which ran for eight years and almost 60 episodes were reflected by SADOS, including Gladys Pugh (Colette Colman) and her relentless pursuit of entertainments manager Jeffrey Fairbrother (Daran Bland).
The cast paid its own tribute to late actor Paul Shane who played compere Ted Bovis with the show’s director Martin Tyrrell taking on the role of the hard-pressed camp show host being chased for maintenance by his ex-wife Hilary (Anita Heaton).
Ballroom dancers Barry and Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves (Andrew Canham and Beverley Moore) personified the “camp” in camp humour, with Mr Partridge (Ben White) almost missing out on the slapstick comedy altogether after assaulting a young camper.
SADOS decided against going for the easy option and making Peggy a yellow coat, instead showing how her dreams were dashed when a Miss Yellowcoat competition. with a prize of working at a new camp in the Bahamas, fell through because of severe weather.
The cast recited their lines fluently and there wasn’t a forgotten word throughout the 90-minute production.
Hi-de-Hi may not have been the most side-splitting show ever staged at South Holland Centre but in terms of competence and professionalism, it wasn’t out of place either.