What is it about Blackadder? The recent 40th anniversary of the BBC’s unusual comedy series saw an outpouring of warmth for the motley band of incompetents who surround Edmund Blackadder in his various historical incarnations. It was definitely more by luck than judgement (in the classic Blackadder manner) that it coincided with Scunthorpe Little Theatre Club’s upcoming production of Blackadder the Third.
Scunthorpe Little Theatre Club is an amateur dramatic group who stage a panto in January and two other shows in May and September. Their non-panto shows vary from comedies to thrillers; classics to television adaptations to give as much interest and variety to their audiences as possible. They presented Blackadder II in 2008, Blackadder Goes Forth in 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of World War I and this year they complete the set with Blackadder the Third.
The House of Blackadder was once powerful, with princes and lords among its descendants. But oh, how the mighty have fallen. It is the reign of ‘Mad’ King George III and the current heir to the House of Blackadder is working as a butler for the Prince Regent. Blackadder is continually hindered in his quest for money and a way out of a job he loathes by his master, who is as thick as a whale omelette, and his dogsbody Baldrick, who couldn’t even pass the interview to become a village idiot. In spite of these handicaps, Blackadder navigates the dangers of the French Revolution, homicidal poets, Scotsmen and the Duke of Wellington, to create a tale as sizzling as any to be found in ‘Edmund, A Butler’s Tale’ by Gertrude Perkins, highly recommended by Dr Johnson but sadly unavailable thanks to Baldrick and a match.
See Blackadder the Third at the Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe from 27th to 30th September.