The audience of the Rotorua Little Theatre's upcoming show, "Blackadder II" will be able to share laughs and be transported back in time.
Blackadder is a series of four BBC One pseudo-historical British sitcoms.
In this stage production, the story follows the unforgettable Lord Edmund Blackadder during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
In these episodes he falls in love with a girl called Bob, boldly sets off with the pirate Red Rum to seek out "new" potatoes and is interrogated by a crazed Spanish torturer, accompanied, of course, by his servant Baldrick.
Director Val Isherwood says Blackadder was a popular 1980s TV series starring Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder and she decided it would be great to stage some episodes at the theatre.
She says she chose the Elizabethan series because she found that one the most amusing.
"The scripts are television scripts [by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton]. I read through the scripts and chose three episodes.
"Each episode was quite a challenge because as they are from television there are many short scenes as the camera is able to cut from one incident to the next, so to bring it on to the stage is a bit challenging at times."
She says the lighting and movement of curtains has to be closely timed and considered, but she has a great cast, most of whom are known to Rotorua theatre people.
"They are doing really well with rehearsals and the set was built early so we could start using it straight away."
Val says there are 11 in the cast - six principals who keep the same parts and five others who switch characters.
She says what she has enjoyed about putting the show together is the challenge of showing all these scenes on stage and the pleasure of working with the cast and crew.
"I think for quite a number of older people the show will bring back memories of what was a very, very funny show, and people will come along to see whether we do it justice, which I hope we do.
"For people who have heard of but never seen Blackadder, this will be an opportunity to see it portrayed in the flesh with some beautiful costumes."
And plenty of hard work has gone into the costumes for this show.
Wardrobe mistress Val Price says she and assistant Tina Marshall had a look at the videos of Blackadder to make sure they got the costumes as correct as possible.
She says Tina made three beautiful tops for some of the gentlemen and an entire costume made out of a pair of curtains found backstage.
Since this show is Elizabethan it was a challenge to search for and find the right material so it looks right, she says.
"I went on a hunt through the wardrobe and found all sorts of things we could alter and give new lease of life."
She says Deb Rowles at Level 13 Theme Rooms and Costume Hire helped a lot with pieces, too.
Price says she likes the research involved in putting costumes together for each show, and enjoys the hunt for what is needed and fitting the cast.
"If you are in a costume that feels right for you it is so much easier to be character."
- What: Rotorua Little Theatre's Blackadder II
- When: March 5-20, evening shows: 7.30pm Wednesday-Saturday, matinee shows: 2pm Sunday March 7 and March 14 (no shows Monday or Tuesday)
- Where: Shambles Theatre, behind Pak'n'Save
- Tickets: Eventfinda