idea for filming the T. Bag sketch came to me many years ago,
after Lee had allowed me to publish the script. I did not have
a cast, crew, set, or any of the necessary, so it was a bit of
went by and I joined Castaway
Community Theatre at Aberystwyth
Arts Centre with my long term and long suffering friend Troy
Bradshaw to perform in the stage version of "'Allo 'Allo!"
as Herr Flick with Troy as General von Schmelling. Here, I met
the very talented stage manager (as she was at the time) for Castaway,
Katie Groves-Bond. I also met and worked with Norma Izon, who
was appearing as LeClerk, and Rhys Kelly who was appearing as
as Herr Flick in "'Allo 'Allo!".
as LeClerk with Dylan Raw-Rees as Rene
the stage done up as a cafe in Aberystwyth Arts Centre's Theatr
Y Werin reminded me about the T. Bag sketch, but I couldn't film
it there, and the set was fairly sparse anyway.
and I became friends, especially when she noticed I was good at
prop making and realised that I could be a big help backstage
as well as prancing around on stage.
did a couple of shows after "'Allo 'Allo!", and in the
meantime I had introduced Katie to T. Bag. I told her that I wanted
to film the sketch, and we decided to approach members of Castaway
to see if they would be interested.
next show in the Main House was "Hi de hi!", in which
I landed the part of Jeffrey Fairbrother. This play has a few
huge parts, and the director decided to split the part of Jeffrey
between two actors to perform on seperate nights. My counterpart
playing Jeffrey on other nights was a talented young actor and
playwright, James Lawbuary.
Lawbuary as Lucius in another of our shows: "Rain of Blood"
(yes, that's a bleeding heart he's holding).
as Jeffrey Fairbrother, Troy Bradshaw as Barry Stuart-Hargreaves
and Norma as Yvonne in "Hi de hi!"
was playing the part of Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves opposite Troy's
Barry, and wore a very fancy ball gown with her hair bouffanted
(if that's a word) to about fifteen times its normal size. She
played with a snootyness and presence that made Katie and me immediately
think "T. BAG!". Katie approached her, and the part
of T. Bag was cast.
was another young actor in "Hi de hi!" whom Katie and
I had both considered for T. Shirt, although we both had our reservations
because he didn't quite fit the part. There was nothing wrong
with his acting or his presence or anything else, but he had a
very broad accent (nothing against this, but it wasn't right for
the purposes of this project), and was just too big and broad
in build being a rugby player. I lost touch with him after "Hi
de hi!", so we had to look for another actor, which we found
in James, whom I had become friends with sharing the part of Jeffrey.
He was far more suitable for the part of T. Shirt, and he is one
of those sickening people who can do everything effortlessly and
Kelly was at my house one evening (probably at a screening of
one of the Castaway shows) and suddenly yelled out "Look!
It's a T-Plant" when he noticed my replica T. Plant in its
jardiniere in a quiet corner of my flat. I found out that he is
almost as big a T. Bag geek as me, and so he was immediately offered
a place in the sketch and on the crew quite early in the process.
He dropped off the radar for a bit, but thankfully became involved
again only a few days before filming.
as Fred Quilly in "Hi de hi!"
became firm friends with another cast member during "Hi de
Hi!": Lynne Hodges, who was playing Ted Bovis's estranged
wife, Hilary. She is probably the nicest person whom I have ever
met, but she didn't get involved in the sketch until the eleventh
hour. I told her that I was filming, and she was really excited
and asked if she could come and watch. I was happy to include
her and offered her a part as crew and customer.
as Hillary Bovis in "Hi de hi!"
just did as he was told... or so he would tell you, but he enjoys
acting despite himself, and I think he was pleased to be in it.
He also got to operate the clapper!