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Review: Hi-de-Hi at The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 17:39 23 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:56 20 February 2013

The entertainments team at Maplins gather for a staff meeting

The entertainments team at Maplins gather for a staff meeting

I always love a trip down memory lane and the current show Hi-de-Hi at The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage certainly provided just such a journey.

I always love a trip down memory lane and the current show Hi-de-Hi at The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage certainly provided just such a journey.


Hi-de-Hi has not been seen on stage since it was last in the West End in 1984, but is in Stevenage until March 27th as part of a new major tour.


Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, the production is set in 1950s holiday camp Maplins and stars Barry Howard and Nikki Kelly, who were in the original 1980s TV sitcom, as ballroom partners Barry and Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves.


The story follows Jeffrey Fairbrother (Peter Amory, Emmerdale) as he gives up his job as a university lecturer to take over as the holiday camps entertainments manager. He immediately arouses the amorous attentions of Gladys Pugh (Rebecca Bainbridge), the funny Welsh chief Yellow Coat and sports organiser. Whilst he is fending off her advances, camp host Ted Bovis (Damian Williams, Are You Smarter Than Your 10 Year Old?) and camp comic Spike Dixon (Ben Roddy) keep all the campers amused with their antics, jokes, sketches, and song and dance.


Central to the action is chalet maid Peggy Ollerenshaw (Abigail Finley, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?), who dreams of becoming one of the famous Maplins Yellow Coats.


I have fond memories of the show and was hoping this would live up to them and I have to admit that it fortunately did. The characters were just as I remembered them particularly those of Gladys Pugh and Jeffrey Fairbrother and all the cast members performed with such brilliant enthusiasm and really brought the characters to life.


There was plenty of audience participation with the audience expected to reply to every call of Hi-de-Hi with the call of Ho-de-Ho - and they did so with gusto, after the first few attempts. Cast members also got close to the audience at the beginning of the second act with a rampage through the stalls and the delighted audience was also involved in a sing-along during the second act.


I dont remember there being so many songs in the television series some musical numbers have been added to the show but I did discover that the main tune and words to Holiday Rock are still indelibly printed on my brain.


If you were a fan of the show then this will give you a delightful nostalgic feel. If you havent seen the TV series then dont worry, you will still find it extremely funny.



  • Performances start at 7.45pm and 2.30pm on Thursdays and Saturdays. For tickets which start from 16 call the Box Office on 01438 363200 or visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk.

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