WATCH OUT FOR KNEE-HIGHS
MARC Lottering spoke to us about
Aunty Merle, The Musical, which comes to The Baxter at the end of next month.
When did you create Aunty Merle?
Aunty Merle was created in 1997.
Has she changed much?
Not a bit. If anything, she’s looking slightly smarter these days. Her husband’s plumbing business is thriving, you know.
What makes her special?
She believes she has been put on Earth to bring sunshine into the lives of others.
What can audiences expect in the show?
Audiences will be thoroughly entertained. Aunty Merle’s daughter is getting married to “a decent white chap”. Merle will stop at nothing to ensure that the wedding runs smoothly.
Are you looking at yourself in the alter egos you create?
I like to base my characters on real people, so I people-watch for many hours. I also enjoy eavesdropping. Real life is so entertaining.
During your shows, do you try make people examine themselves or forget about life, or both?
Happy people are beautiful people. There’s nothing more rewarding than the sound of raucous laughter in a packed theatre. And right now in South Africa, we need to laugh or we’ll go insane with sadness.
You have a melting pot of cultures in Aunty Merle. Tell us more about the characters.
The audience will meet Merle’s husband, Dennis, who still gets that “wildebeest” look in his eyes when he sees his wife. Merle’s neighbour, Soraya, is constantly competing with Merle. Soraya is also always up to date with the latest skinner in Athlone. And then there are the Bantry Bay parents to the future son-in-law.
Tell us more about your long-standing and fruitful relationship with Alastair Izobell?
I met Alistair some years back and worked alongside him in a David Kramer musical, Some Like
It Vrot. I have asked Alistair to musically direct Aunty Merle, The
Musical. We are often on the same page.
What makes you laugh and what makes you weep?
I laugh at strange things. Just today the lady in the queue next to me wore pantihose with sandals, which made me giggle. I don’t really weep. I sigh often, like when I see the name “Gupta’. But I quickly get on with trying to live a good life.
Anything else you want to say about the show?
There are knee-highs. Row A might see them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.