By John Lyle Belden
The hit 1970s British sitcom “Are You Being Served?” returns to Buck Creek Players (last seen in 2005) with the marginally competent staff of London’s Grace Brothers department store at your service.
On the fine clothing floor, Mr. Rumbold (Lindy Meyer) and Captain Peacock (Tim Latimer) supervise young Mr. Lucas (Hayden Walker), less-young Mr. Grainger (Tom Smith), and dandy Mr. Humphries (Ben Jones) on the men’s side, with lovely Miss Brahms (Anna Ely) and colorful Mrs. Slocombe (Sharon Winderlich) on the women’s side.
This is not an ordinary day at Grace Brothers, as it prepares to renovate for a storewide celebration of the European Common Market. This crew’s part will be a celebration of German culture and products – little-regarded and cheeky maintenance man Mr. Mash (Patrick Murphy) has found authentic costumes for their presentation. Meanwhile, the company nurse (Ben Poppelwell) is on hand to deliver injections for their travel on a company holiday.
The second act finds our sales staff in sunny Spain, at a resort run by Don Bernardo (Ron Pittman), assisted by Conchita (Maria Manalang). It turns out these are less than ideal accommodations, but after a rather restless night, what more could go wrong?
The cast also includes Nickie Cornett as a Spanish revolutionary, Dennis Karr at his scene-chewing best as passionate rebel leader Cesar (Karr and Cornett also play customers in the first act), and David Shetterly as “Young” Mr. Grace himself.
Written by series creators Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, these stories make full use of the show’s trademark slapstick and double-entendres. Matt Spurlock, in his directing debut, gets splendid timing and execution of all the characters’ quirks and foibles. – For the fans, yes, we do get to hear about Slocombe’s pussy(cat). – The production’s look comes together nicely with sets by John Walker and costumes by Sue Kuenhold.
Funny, silly, a bit nostalgic, and a little naughty, “Are You Being Served?” has one weekend remaining, April 7-10, with tickets selling fast. Get info and tickets at buckcreekplayers.com.