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