Repertory conjures up bawdy briliance
Try this for size or Moustaches Muffs & Minstrels, directed by Di Leach
Don’t miss this naughty, funny, clever play set in an 1800s, rat-infested hovel.
As soon as I saw the austere hovel made of kiwifruit bins with mushrooms growing through the floor, and sexy bloomers hanging up to dry, I knew it would be entertaining.
Desiree, a very attractive, poor widow with red hair (Brenda Cooke) and her beautiful young daughter Charlotte (Tahlia Singleton) are about to be evicted into the snow. Sir Jasper the villain (Glenn Ward) is the evil landlord chasing his rent. What a commanding performance as he frightens us and the ladies. And every time anyone opens the door, the snow blows in.
Roger the Minstrel (Jack Brawn) is a young law student who has left law to earn money as a musician, but he sings like a strangled cat in a long drop. “Have you thought about going back to law?” I wanted to ask him as he earnestly tries to help Charlotte and Desiree.
I really enjoyed this young man, but can see why Molly pays him not to sing.
Roger’s giant codpiece and 1800s costume were as interesting as his ideas about money — who wants to be a millionaire with the bother of a country estate and a marble swimming pool.
John Middleton the valuation man (Alan Chapman) arrives to value the hovel and the fun continues with lots of local references, which really made the play for me.
Land agents Julie (Stacey Wylie) and Jenny (Maggie Marriner) try to sell the hovel to Mrs Shuttlecock (Pam Chapman) — complete with rats and cobwebs, arguing that hovels are meant to be filthy — it’s part of their charm. And what great indooroutdoor flow, they continue.
Narrator Liz Church comes complete with violin and ancient costume.
The show moves along at a perfect pace and is very polished.
Add in some frilly skirts and a chorus (Norma Carney was great) and the show comes alive.
It is extremely well cast — Tahlia was brilliant as the heroine.
This is one of the best Te Puke Repertory productions I have seen. Full marks for the costumes, which are delightful to study during this raunchy romp.
— Mary Winteringham
Jack Brawn (Roger the Minstrel), Tahlia Singleton (Charlotte) and Brenda Cooke (the poor mum) from Te Puke Repertory Theatre’s production Try this for size or Moustaches Muffs & Minstrels.