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Blackadder II
The Tudor Years

Repertory's final production for 2015 is Blackadder II: The Tudor Years. Based on the classic BBC TV series, Blackadder II is set during the Elizabethan era (1558–1603).

"This will be a rollicking play for Rep, and suitable for an end-of-year pre-Christmas production", says director Dimitri Gibara. "On a purely personal front, it has been too long since I have been involved with Repertory. This production comes with a set of challenges to test me and the company and I look forward to that."

The principal character, Edmund, Lord Blackadder, is the great-grandson of the original Black Adder, and is now a member of the London aristocracy. Unlike his forefather, he is both dashing and intelligent, although he is still scheming and cynical in his outlook.

Blackadder II follows Edmund's attempts to win the favour of the childish Queen Elizabeth I. As before he is aided, and often hindered, by two less intelligent sidekicks, his servant Baldrick, and Lord Percy Percy, heir to the Duchy of Northumberland, with whom Blackadder has a grudging friendship.


"You mean they actually rehearse? I thought they just got drunk, stuck on silly hats and trusted
to luck!"

       Jonathan Briden & Emma Price

Throughout the action, Blackadder's chief rival is Lord Melchett, the Queen's pretentious and grovelling Lord Chamberlain. Melchett is himself in fear of upsetting the Queen, and thus attempts to outdo Blackadder by supporting the Queen in whatever current fad she is interested in.

Comic relief in the Court is provided by the Queen's demented former nanny, Nursie.

Baldrick, who in the first series was the most intelligent of the main trio, became more stupid, an idea proposed by Ben Elton to make him "the stupidest person in the history of...human beings", and to act as a foil to Blackadder's new-found intelligence. The series was also the originator of Baldrick's obsession with the turnip, although this apparently arose from a botanical error on the part of Elton, who confused the vegetable with the "amusingly shaped" parsnip.

PLEASE NOTE: The performance advertised for Friday 20 November at 7.30 pm is a Charity Gala Opening in support of the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation. Tickets are $45 & include complimentary pre-show wine & cheese from 6.45 pm, a programme & entry in door prize draws. For information or to make a booking please contact the charity directly on 353 1245 or by email.

Repertory’s 2015 Production of Blackadder II: The Tudor Years is based on the following episodes from the original TV series:

Blackadder employs a young man called "Bob" (who is actually a woman in disguise who ran away to get a legitimate job after her father suggested she become a prostitute) whom he finds himself attracted to, much to his dismay.

Blackadder is pursued by the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells over an unpaid loan and is forced to formulate ingenious ways to make money.

Blackadder and Melchett are kidnapped by the German Prince Ludwig, a murderous master of disguise, and held to ransom.

With the promise of a large inheritance in mind, Blackadder attempts to impress his fanatically Puritanical aunt and uncle, while simultaneously attempting to win a drinking competition.

Jonathan Briden: Edmund Blackadder
Rod Turner: Baldrick
Andrew Challis: Percy
Julian Anderson: Melchett
Emma Price: Queenie
Melanie Mellor: Nursie
Sydney Hogarth: Father, Bishop, Guard, Uncle
Robin Frew: Crone, Mrs Pants, Aunt
Maurice Barnes: Dr Leech, Arthur, Guard, Piddle
Joe McCann: Flashheart, Mr Pants, Ludwig, Monk
Alisdair Muir: Leonardo, Partridge
Jordon Jones: Kate/Bob, Mollie, Torturer
Sally Willcox: Wisewoman, Messenger, Beggar

Dimitri Gibara