Abby and Martha Brewster? Why, they’re just sweet, eccentric old ladies who wouldn’t harm a fly. Such is their kindness that a gentleman guest never leaves their Brooklyn boarding house without a good meal and a refreshing glass of something nice.
If any of their gentleman guests had a more sensitive nose, however, they might detect a faint odour of something else in the glass..something a little like bitter almonds....
Abby and Martha’s favourite nephew, theatre critic Mortimer Brewster, has no idea about his aunts’ secret. Until, that is, he travels to Brooklyn to introduce his fiancée, Elaine, to the old dears - and makes a discovery that turns his world upside down. In a frantic attempt to conceal their crimes, Mortimer tries to lay the blame at the door of his barking mad but completely harmless brother Teddy – who thinks he’s Theodore Roosevelt and frequently disappears into the cellar to dig the Panama Canal.
But Mortimer’s plan comes a cropper when his other brother, the terrifying Jonathan, appears on the doorstep. On the run and with a strangely changed appearance, Jonathan doesn’t want the police involved. In anything. And Jonathan expects people to do what he says. Or else . . .
Immortalised in the 1944 film starring Cary Grant, Joseph Kesselring’s hilarious laugh-out-loud black comedy is one of the most popular plays in American theatre history and a perfect way to start the festive season.
Arsenic & Old Lace is on the BLT main stage from Saturday 6th to 13th December 2014.
Click here for tickets.
When Sam Cooper took on the role of Hurst, a soldier returning from an un-named colonial conflict to a desolate village in “Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance” at Bolton Little Theatre, he didn’t know it would include taking one for the team days before opening night.
Sam was working for SC Cabinets in Horwich on Saturday when he fell and cracked his knee. A trip to A&E in extreme pain got the diagnosis he didn’t want and some relief.
Sam hobbled back into the firing line on Tuesday after missing only two rehearsals and managed to adapt his movements and actions to his painful injury. He says, “I was exhausted but all the cast rallied round and helped me to cope. To quote an old theatre adage The show will go on.”
Director Sandra Simpson says “I tried not to panic but when you hear one of your lead actors is in A&E your mind goes into overdrive. This is a very dramatic play and Sam is pivotal in the drama. Replacing him would be nigh impossible at this late date. In the amateur theatre we don’t have understudies!”
Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance is at Bolton Little Theatre from Saturday 1st until Saturday 8th November at 7.30 with a matinee on Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are available from The Albert Halls Box office on 01204 334400 or through the Bolton Little Theatre website www.boltonlittletheatre.co.uk
As part of this year’s Great War commemorations, BLT are presenting their own unique evening of performance readings transcribed from messages between soldiers in action during WW1 and WW2 and their families, from letters and diaries, all with local Bolton connections.
BLT member Michael Tatman has devised and created Messages from original documents and material very kindly entrusted to him by relatives of those who wrote these engaging, touching and inevitably, sometimes devastating stories, including Bolton Little Theatre members Elizabeth Tatman, Harold Smith, Peter Ward and Michael Haworth. They will be joined by Michael, Carol Butler, Rebecca Cook and Marc Lyth in presenting these dramatic and extremely touching tales of everyday soldiers and their families with unlikely and surprising connections.
The title for the evening is taken from a famous WW1 poem by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson that was read by Michael at Bolton Parish Church on the 100th anniversary that Britain entered the war on August 4th 1914, and which he shall be reading again in the Albert Hall at the Remembrance Concert on November 8th 2014.
Forge Theatre, 14 November 2014, 7.30pm
Tickets £10 from 01024 469468