A mu­si­cal riot is near as Merle plans the ‘wed­ding of the year’

Cape Argus - - Tonight - TONIGHT RE­PORTER

AUNTY Merle lives in Bel­gravia Road in Athlone.

She’s one of co­me­dian Marc Lot­ter­ing’s most beloved char­ac­ters and she’ll be bounc­ing on to the stage just in time for the fes­tive sea­son, from Novem­ber 30 un­til Jan­uary 13.

In Aunty Merle,The Mu­si­cal, high drama un­folds as Aunty’s daugh­ter Abi­gail (Tar­ryn Lamb) an­nounces her en­gage­ment to a white boy called Alan (played by Stephen Jub­ber). Merle suc­cintly puts it: “He’s a good-look­ing white chap!” But, be­ing a mu­si­cal, it’s never smooth sail­ing and Abi­gail’s twisted and cor­rupt ex, Den­ver Paulse (played by the inim­itable Louk­maan Adams), who holds a top, al­beit murky job with the SABC, is de­ter­mined to get his for­mer girl­friend back.

He’s even threat­ened that if he doesn’t win back her love, he’s go­ing to re­veal a deep and dark se­cret that is bound to tear the new lovers apart.

Then there’s Merle’s son Carl (Roberto Kyle), who spends many hours with his univer­sity friend Siya (Sizwe­sandile Mnisi) be­ing ob­sessed with Bey­oncé. Merle’s neigh­bour, So­raya Sam­so­dien (an­other gem of an act by Car­men Maar­man), cer­tainly has her own thoughts about their friend­ship and ob­ses­sion.

Mean­while, Ly­dia Ma­jola (Tankiso Mam­abolo) from Khayelit­sha has been on a 20-year­jour­ney with Merle, work­ing as her char. But how can Mrs Ma­jola fo­cus on clean­ing a house when she has just dis­cov­ered that her hus­band’s a “Blesser”? In ad­di­tion, Mrs Ma­jola’s feisty daugh­ter, Nam­bitha (Zandile Madliwa), fresh out of Ox­ford Univer­sity, has a ven­omous po­lit­i­cal ap­ple to peel with Abi­gail.

The ques­tion is, can Aunty Merle get ev­ery­one to live hap­pily ever after and still pull off the wed­ding of the year?

Merle’s long-suf­fer­ing hus­band, Den­nis, is ably played by vet­eran Roys­ton Stof­fels. Alan’s par­ents, Claire and David White, are played by Kate Norm­ing­ton and Adrian Gal­ley.

Abi­gail and Alan’s best friends, Liezel and Jakes, are played by An­ray Amansure and Daniel Richards.

The show fea­tures 14 ac­tors and a live band. Lot­ter­ing is also re­spon­si­ble for the script, while mu­si­cal di­rec­tion is by his long­time col­lab­o­ra­tor, Alis­tair Izo­bell. The pair has been en­ter­tain­ing South Africans for more than two decades.

● Per­for­mances are Mon­day to Fri­day at 8pm and on Satur­days at 4pm and 8pm. Tick­ets range from R100 to R135 and R260 on New Year’s Eve (Sun­day, De­cem­ber 31).

● There are early-bird spe­cials at R120 for per­for­mances from Mon­day, Novem­ber 30, to Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 7. PG 14 and no shows on Sun­days, ex­cept New Year’s Eve. Book through Com­puticket, Check­ers and Sho­prite out­lets on­line www.com­puticket. For dis­counted block book­ings, char­i­ties, cor­po­rate book­ings and fund-rais­ers, phone the Bax­ter Sales depart­ment on 021 680 3962 or 021 680 3993.

Marc Lot­ter­ing as Aunty Merle.

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