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Performed in Motcombe Memorial Hall on July 5th, 6th & 7th

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Drivel from the director Martin Porter When Natalie Bourchier (Producer) and I put our heads together to create a theatre group, we did so with a single vision: to make it enjoyable, rewarding, open to everyone, and a little ‘off the wall.’ Therefore, Stab In The Dark is a theatre company which can be summarised as “a bunch of unhinged amateurs with a desire to have fun.” Blackadder is our very first dramatic outing but one we resolved was a good fit for our shared sense of humour. (Note: we’re performing under the name of Pie Shop Productions so if the reviews are bad, we can pretend Stab In The Dark had nothing to do with it.) We appreciate Blackadder is much like Marmite; not that it can be spread on toast or used to clean copper or dissolve pennies (or something), but that there’s definitely a ‘love it/hate it’ division. We’ll assume you’re here for the former reason, and not because you’re trying to avoid someone. Why Blackadder? The idea of putting on Richard Curtis’ and Ben Elton’s phenomenally popular 1980’s script followed a trip Natalie made to Hollywood at the beginning of 2013. There, her personal friends Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman joined her for snacks at one of their usual Tinseltown haunts and became embroiled in a heated argument

on British sitcoms. Things became heated between Pacino and Hoffman as they ‘passionately’ discussed the positives and negatives of ‘Some Mothers Do Ave Em’ and ‘Fawlty Towers’ (DeNiro a clear underdog with his somewhat lackluster defence of ‘Terry and June’), when Natalie threw her hat in the ring and asked them, ‘What about Blackadder?’ With mouths agape, all three claimed to have never seen the show. On that day history was made. Natalie swore to each of the fine actors that she would work tirelessly to assemble the strongest, funniest, cast of performers from the Four Corners of the Earth to reenact some of the most memorable parts of the masterwork. ‘Bells’ and ‘Head’ were selected from that which is arguably the funniest series (the second). Once the company had been formed, roles cast and venue arranged, it became very clear that Natalie had an entirely different problem to solve. How was she ever going to set foot in Hollywood again?

Anthony Atwood Melchett & Doctor

Kate’s father & Mr Ploppy

Steven Bennet

Natalie Bourchier

Anthony first sucked blood as the protagonist Bela Lugosi in ‘Bleached Wings, The Making of Dracula’ on Bvzlovd Vay, Romania. After a brief spell as banker, lawyer and tax collector in the Pity of London’s ‘Suck ‘em Dry’, I was called to greater things! During which I felt the lure of the leech… and history was lost.

When I told all my friends I was going to be in a comedy they all laughed: no one’s laughing now. Acting isn’t my profession; I work in the bowling alley. It’s not full time, I’m just tempin’. Well, they say there is nothing like a good show, and believe me: this is nothing (at all) like a good show.

Trained at RADA, Natalie has put a promising career on hold to help others after visiting the facility where she met Martin. Together they plan to ‘redesign the face of theatre’ with their shared ethos that tea breaks are more important than learning lines and innovative techniques for character development (such as croquet).

Eoin Brew

Alex Chase


Jonathan Davies

Lord Percy

Lord Edmund Blackadder

Earl Farrow & Flashheart

Take me by the tongue and I’ll know you; kiss me ‘til you’re drunk and I’ll show you all the moves like Jagger: I’ve got the moves like Jagger; I’ve got the moves like Jagger; I’ve got those mooooo-ooooooooooooooooooo-ooooooooooooooves like Jagger.

Following a sojourn at the Reading Conservatory of Fine Arts, this dancing star has wowed audiences across the South of England with his verve, style and panache. He has since agreed to lend his talents to a local drama group whose flagging fortunes have since experienced a remarkable upturn.

A student of Architecture, Jonathan has worked tirelessly to impart unto the heathens his conviction that Earl Grey must not be served with milk. Once it became clear that he had failed, and with little else to live for, he now dedicates his time to correcting the grammar and pronunciation of others. He gets beaten up a lot.

Wendy Ibbotson

Kate Kirkpatrick

Abbie Riddell

The Wise Woman

HRH Queen Elizabeth I

Lady Farrow & Young Crone

After making her debut in 1975 as a pineapple in Mrs Allsopp’s Year 1 production The Nativity, Wendy received high acclaim. Reviews were such that she felt justified taking a thirty six year sabbatical before returning to the stage in a ‘princely’ role in Panto last year. Her appearance was so outstanding someone said, “ that was outstanding.”

A giant on the local thespian circuit, young Kirkpatrick has relished the chance to play many challenging roles in her burgeoning career but none so regal as Elizabeth I. A strict method actor, Stab in the Dark would like to acknowledge the landed gentry and Catholics who gave their lives to refine her character (we think you’ll agree it was worth it).

The youngest member of Stab in the Dark, Abbie is also the most talented of the ensemble. After being awarded numerous Olivier Awards (and following a spell ‘recuperating’ after the excesses of her success), Abbie charitably agreed to complete her court ordered community service in this production.

John Roberts-Davies

Jenny Tempier

Myra Wood

Following a critically acclaimed, sell-out tour with the renowned Greco-Roman Tragicomedy group “Thestolicious”, The Stage Magazine expressed great surprise at Mr. Robert-Davies’ leap of genre to contemporary British comedy in Motcombe. “Who gives a sh*t,” said John.

Before training for the role of Nursie, Jenny was granted early parole and a scholarship in Arts and Theatre from the eminent dramatic institution hosted in Holloway Penitentiary.

The renowned (and reputably sadistic) wardrobe mistress of Shaftesbury Arts Centre, one glance from Myra can turn an unsuspecting supplicant to stone (‘Myra my button has come off…’). Cast in the role of Mistress Ploppy due to her renowned sartorial elegance she has many theatrical irons in numerous dramatic fires.


Bernard (Nursie)

She also learnt how to knit.

Mrs Ploppy

Bex Greenway

Sam Skey

Brenda White

Mistress of Props

Wandering Minstrel

Illuminating Presence

A stalwart of the theatre with experience in all aspects behind and in front of those magical red curtains. Whether onstage and performing or managing the thespians’ backstage antics, Bex is a constantly reassuring presence (plus she owns tonnes of cool stuff we nicked for the show!).

Sam Skey, musical innovator and ethical consumer, cuts an enigmatic figure. Arriving at Blackadder’s dress rehearsal in authentic Elizabethan minstrel attire, he was universally hailed for his foresight.

One of SAC’s longest standing affiliates (or so this ignorant writer is going to boldly assert), a veteran of their pantomimes and star of their Calendar Girls, Brenda just can’t say no (but seriously, try asking her). She’s also pretty handy with a lighting control desk.

He then asked what we meant and asked if we had a costume for him to wear...

Notes of thanks And our eternal gratitude goes to... Every theatrical performance requires tremendous quantities of time, effort and patience to successfully stage and Blackadder II has been no exception. Behind all the fun on stage there are key individuals and organisations without whom this production may never have been and we would like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude for all their vital support. Sam Skey with his lute and falsetto to entertain during scene changes and Bex Greenway for all the props she begged, borrowed and stole for us to use onstage: Brenda White with her technical expertise on the lighting desk, Myra Wood and her contributions of costume and cosmetics and Nikki Dimmer for assisting with costume and providing invaluable front of house support. Alan Marsh with his Miggensian pies and the delectable confections of Buttercup and Daisy Ice cream. The very talented Edward Parker for so professionally documenting our dress rehearsal and Pam Goodall and Jan Klakus of Glad Rags Dorset for their sterling work in creating Queenie’s gloriously regal ensemble. The Breeze 107.2FM for advertising our sell-out season and Gillingham Press Company Ltd. for excellent service printing the programme you hold in your hand. Last but not least, Motcombe Memorial Hall Committee for letting us disrupt their schedule (and meetings, on occasion), occupy the hall whenever it wasn’t otherwise booked and create colossal quantities of mess in our quest to prepare the set, including painting the stage floor black. You guys are awesome.

Stab in the Dark is a brand new theatre company based in North Dorset. We have no set members and no set style of work, so every project is completely unique. We welcome everyone with a love of theatre and will keep you updated, via our blog or email, with all our upcoming productions. Due to the nature of this company we will hold auditions for every production: whilst we cannot guarantee individuals will always be directly involved this ensures a larger network of drinking buddies. Stab in the Dark is a great way to experience all aspects of theatre and progress towards professional standards of performance. We want to be able to offer you an insight into theatre by allowing you to branch out in your experience. For instance, if you are keen to direct a production, then contact us with your ideas and you may end up managing our next show. This production of Blackadder has been staged in association with Pie Shop Productions ( If you are selected to become involved in any of our performances, please refer to our blog for rehearsal dates and schedule changes. Contact Us: Email: Telephone Natalie: 07811 346 212 Our Blog:




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Good luck to everybody in Blackadder – Great show!

AT HOME WITH THE HERD hosted by Carolyn Bourchier

Carolyn invites you to a ‘drop in’ coffee morning to meet her horses and enjoy an informal, relaxed couple of hours in the presence of some of her herd. Costumes For Hire & Accessories For Sale! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The Shaftesbury Arts Centre 2013 Summer Show

Wednesdays to Saturdays 17th to 20th July and 24th to 27th July at 7:30pm Tickets from ÂŁ10. Details from the Box Office, 13 Bell Street, Shaftesbury, SP3 6AF.

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Stab in the Dark: Blackadder II  
Stab in the Dark: Blackadder II  

The programme for the 2013 amateur production of Blackadder II's Bells & Head raising funds for Comic Relief.