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Creakes Drama Group hope farce will be note-perfect

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The multi award-winning Creakes Drama Group hope their audience will be rolling in the aisles with laughter when they see the cast’s summer production of Lend Me A Tenor by American author Ken Ludwig.

This will be running for three performances next Thursday to Saturday (June 13-15) at 7.30pm in North Creake village hall.

It is a farce and was the American playwright’s first Broadway success in 1989, winning three Tony awards.

Older members of the audience who lived through the 27-year era of Brian Rix farces, that filled first London’s Whitehall Theatre and then the Garrick from 1950 onwards, will feel completely at home with the zany slapstick humour.

It concerns the appearance for one night only at the Cleveland Opera Company, Ohio, of world-famous tenor Tito Merelli, as Pagliacci, whose aria, Vesta La Giubba, or On with the Motley in English, was made famous first by Enrico Caruso and then more recently Luciano Pavarotti.

But a double dose of tranquilisers knocks him out and forces another member of the company, Max, to take on the role.

A series of mishaps ensue in this screwball comedy.

The cast from left: Evette Price (Maggie), Phil Lance (Sanders), Judith Kilbourn (Julia), Phil Lines (Tito), Harry Studd (Max) and Robert Kilbourn (Bell hop)
The cast from left: Evette Price (Maggie), Phil Lance (Sanders), Judith Kilbourn (Julia), Phil Lines (Tito), Harry Studd (Max) and Robert Kilbourn (Bell hop)

It caused a sensation on Broadway and in the West End 30 years ago. Always ready to go the extra mile, the musical extracts are sung live by the cast who received language coaching from Suzanne Rands.

The play is directed by Robert Hill, who has been the group’s musical director for the last 12 years and who also directed the company’s 2014 production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, which was shortlisted for an award by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.

Two Pagliaccis in costume are involved, played by Harry Studd and Phil Lines, and two lingerie-clad ladies on the loose confuse matters even more before a satisfactory ending.

“It’s very funny. Rehearsals were great fun and we are looking forward to doing it,” said Mr Hill.

Tim Adams and his group designed the scenery and make-up for this piece, set in 1934, was by Sally Wiskin and her team.

Tickets are £10 and can be obtained online from peter_autie@btinternet.com or by ringing 07818 696 660.

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