Tu­gan’s not so Fawlty take on bed­room farce

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS - – JESSICA HUXLEY

SHE’D never heard of it be­fore, but di­rec­tor Mar­garet Rad­cliffe says she laughed the whole way through the script for English farce Bed­room Suite when she read it.

‘‘It was not one I’d ever heard of or seen be­fore and I don’t even know if it’s ever been on the Coast,’’ she says.

Rad­cliffe raises the cur­tain on her Tu­gun Theatre Com­pany sea­son of the com­edy at Tu­gun Vil­lage Com­mu­nity Cen­tre tonight.

‘‘It was writ­ten in the ’80s around the same time in­ter­net dat­ing was start­ing up. We’ve up­dated it to make it mod­ern and rel­e­vant. It’s set in the cur­rent era,’’ she says.

‘‘We’re just laugh­ing through ev­ery re­hearsal and think it will be a hoot with au­di­ences.’’

The com­edy cen­tres on in­ter­net dat­ing and the funny things that can hap­pen when peo­ple’s iden­ti­ties are mis­taken.

The story un­folds in 10 iden­ti­cal ho­tel rooms, with mix-ups and con­fu­sion driv­ing the plot.

‘‘Kate has ar­ranged to meet some­one on­line, doesn’t have a photo of him, so is set­ting the scene for the trail mix-ups,’’ Rad­cliffe says.

‘‘Her char­ac­ter is youngish, in­no­cent and shy; she likes cats and long walks and is go­ing to give in­ter­net dat­ing a try.

‘‘She is played by Candice Dittman, who is new to Tu­gun Theatre and has brought a great new en­ergy to the stage.

‘‘Tony the Ital­ian waiter is like Manuel from Fawlty Tow­ers on speed,’’ Rad­cliffe says.

‘‘He’s played by Mark Fell and he to­tally be­lieves the may­hem. It’s very funny.

‘‘The Ital­ian ac­cent has been a chal­lenge and an­other char­ac­ter, Dick, also has to soundly tell off Tony on the phone in Ital­ian, which is hi­lar­i­ous as well.’’ Dick is Kate’s date and just like Kate, he’s scared. ‘‘He’s a psy­chi­a­trist and is very good with pa­tients but not so good in his own per­sonal re­la­tion­ships,’’ Rad­cliffe says.

Dick is played by Graeme Stuck­ings, and is well re­mem­bered for his por­trayal of the drunken vet in Tea for Two and as the out-there woods­man in A Bad Year For Toma­toes. Tony then brings in Bob, the civil ser­vant who’s a stuffy bor­ing chap, played by Dar­ren Camp­bell.

‘‘Bob pre­tends to be Dick be­cause he fan­cies Kate and Dick is in the ad­join­ing suite and has a date with a call-girl who never comes,’’ Rad­cliffe says.

‘‘And then there’s Liz played by Tracey Car­roll who has been away from the theatre since 2004. ‘‘This is like a wel­come back to the stage for her.’’ Rad­cliffe’s says the play is ap­pro­pri­ate for au­di­ences of all ages, with a witty script and loads of ac­tion.

Bed­room Suite plays Tu­gun Vil­lage Com­mu­nity Cen­tre Thurs­days to Satur­days at 7.30pm from tonight un­til Au­gust 31, with 2pm mati­nees on Satur­day and Au­gust 24. Tick­ets $12 to $15.

Un Nat­u­ral Se­lec­tion The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast: Awkward Pro­duc­tions presents this black, black com­edy from Ste­wart McMillan, the cre­ator of Beau­ti­fully Dead. One of four fea­tured theatre works as part of the venue’s in­au­gu­ral 2013 In­de­pen­dent Sea­son, Un Nat­u­ral Se­lec­tion will make you laugh, cry and ques­tion your morals. Plays The Space Thurs­days to Satur­days from tonight un­til Au­gust 24. Tick­ets $32 adults, $17.50 stu­dents and $28 con­ces­sions. Call 5588 4000 to book.

Birth­day Suite, Tu­gun Vil­lage Com­mu­nity Cen­tre: Tu­gun Theatre Com­pany presents this rol­lick­ing English farce, di­rected by Mar­garet Rad­cliffe. (Re­port, Page 7.) Opens tonight and plays Thurs­days to Satur­days at 7.30pm un­til Au­gust 31, with 2pm mati­nees on Satur­day and Au­gust 24. Tick­ets $12-$15 con­ces­sions. Call 5522 4740 to book.

Whis­tle Down the Wind, Tweed Heads Civic and Cul­tural Cen­tre: Nep­tune Pro­duc­tions presents this rarely per­formed work, writ­ten by Pa­tri­cia Knop, Gale Edwards and An­drew Lloyd Web­ber and fea­tur­ing mu­sic by Lloyd Web­ber and lyrics by Jim Stein­man, with or­ches­tra­tions by David Cullen and Lloyd Web­ber. Di­rected by Andy Fa­hey, with mu­si­cal di­rec­tion by Wendy Fa­hey, chore­og­ra­phy by Tammy Dun­don and fea­tur­ing the Voice Weavers Choir un­der the di­rec­tion of Brett Lo­gan. Opens to­mor­row and plays Fri­days at 7.30pm and Satur­days and Sun­days at 1.30pm and 7.30pm un­til Au­gust 24. Tick­ets $15-$25. Phone 5524 9794 or visit nep­tune­prods.com to book.

Hair, Spot­light Theatre, Benowa: The Amer­i­can tribal love rock mu­si­cal, fea­tur­ing lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and mu­sic by Galt Mac­der­mot, was orig­i­nally pro­duced by the New York Fes­ti­val Theatre and for the Broad­way stage by Michael But­ler. Spot­light’s stag­ing is di­rected by Kim Reynolds. Plays Thurs­days to Satur­days at 7.30pm un­til Au­gust 24, with a 2pm mati­nee on Sun­day. Call 5539 4255 to book.

Twelve An­gry Men, Phoenix En­sem­ble, Pav­il­ion Theatre, Beenleigh Show­grounds: Last days! Heather Scott di­rects this award-win­ning drama that charts the heated de­bate and per­son­al­ity bat­tles in a jury room, where a young man’s life hangs in the bal­ance. The pro­duc­tion fol­lows the orig­i­nal cast­ing of an all-male jury. Plays to­mor­row and Satur­day at 7.30pm. Tick­ets $24 adults, $22 con­ces­sions and $20 chil­dren. Phone 3103 1546 or visit phoenix­ensem­ble.com.au to book.

Sin & Tonic, Drac­ula’s, Broadbeach: The famed cabaret restau­rant’s new va­ri­ety show melds Ber­lin bur­lesque, mis­chievous com­edy, car­ni­val nov­elty acts and a punchy songlist. Show for 18+ au­di­ences. Stars Rudi Testa, Danielle Cas­son, Richard Ma­cio­nis, Me­gan Barry-Cot­ter and a live band. Din­ner/show plays Tues­days to Satur­days with ar­rivals from 6.30pm.

Spirit of the Horse, Aus­tralian Out­back Spec­tac­u­lar, Ox­en­ford: A din­ner and show with a cast of larger-than-life char­ac­ters, in­cred­i­ble stunts, spe­cial ef­fects, live mu­sic and a three-course meal. Plays Tues­days to Satur­days with mati­nees on the last Sun­day of month. Doors open 6.15pm. Tick­ets from $79.99.

– Pic­tures: RICHARD GOSLING

Mark Fell as Tony the Ital­ian waiter in Bed­room Suite

Graeme Stuck­ings, as Dick, and Tracey Car­roll, as Liz, in Bed­room Suite.

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