Hi -de-Hi is the latest show by Tip Top productions, running from the 17th to the 26th March. A stage adaptation of the well-loved TV series, the show revolves around life at Maplin’s, a fictional holiday camp in the 1950s. When founder Joe Maplin announces he is setting up a camp in the Bahamas, competition is fierce amongst the existing “Yellowcoats” to see who will be posted there. Meanwhile camp host, Ted is forced to employ numerous money makings schemes when his ex -wife turns up at the camp with a bailiff in tow..
Director Rob Stevens has been involved with Tip Top for a number of years and has appeared in various productions. . “I’ve also directed and choreographed shows for them including Dad’s Army, Bouncers, Shakers & Avenue Q. . I also direct, choreograph & perform all over the North West, North Wales and the UK for various companies and groups. I like to keep myself busy and also teach performing arts at my own school and others in the area.” He says that he wasn’t a regular viewer of the original TV series which ran from 1980 to 1988, but only because he was 4 when the series began! However he does remember watching on TV as he grew up.
“In fact I do remember wanting to be a Yellow Coat and work at Maplins – of course it never happened but I have gone on to work in the Performing Arts and entertaining people!”
Unlike other recent TV adaptations from Tip Top Hi-De-Hi is three episodes blended into one story that takes place. Rob says that “all of the well-loved characters are there – Gladys, Peggy, Ted, Sylvia, Yvonne & Barry etc… and of course the famous catchphrase that we will be expecting the audience to join in with – Hi-De-Hi! I’ve watched the original episodes it is based on and it is very clever how they have weaved them into one.”
“We have faced a few challenges staging the production as we are very aware that our audiences will be expecting to see Hi-De-Hi as they remember it from the television series. It’s hard to recreate this in its entirety but we have all been working hard to remain faithful to the original but also adding our own little touches to it…
“When rehearsing one thing that became very apparent is that when you watch the programme you see what the director wants you to see with close-up and cuts of the appropriate action – it’s harder to show this onstage and it’s great to see all the cast working to make sure everything is seen.
The show is very much an ensemble piece and everyone has their moment in the show. “I will say that I have been very lucky to assemble a great hard working team of performers who have thrown themselves into rehearsals – we have had such a laugh putting the show together and I hope they have enjoyed it as much as I have!” says Rob.
With Chester often (still) lamented for “not having a theatre” Rob thinks that this is a great shame.”There are a number of venues that have been putting on amazing productions for years! You do tend to forget what is on your doorstep but I’m definitely looking forward to the future of Theatre and the Arts within Chester.” With the cultural centre opening at the end of the year , he says that “the future of theatre in Chester is very bright from all aspects of performance and from both an amateur and professional side too.”
The show runs every night from Thursday 17th March to Saturday 26th March at 7.30pm with a matinee on the final Saturday at 2.30pm also. Tickets are priced from £7 for certain performances or are £11 full price & £9 Concessions – these are available online from http://www.tiptopproductions.co.uk or calling the box office on 01244 341 296
Photo credit : Vicki Daniels