Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Dressing Book (theatre)

I've wanted to see one of the famed Rude Mechanical Theatre performances for a few years now but have never quite got organised enough to get our tickets bought before they sold out. That's not going to happen again this time!

Generally, the Mechanicals perform their plays in the open air, but their upcoming tour will not be subject to the whims of the British weather. The Dressing Book runs through November and the beginning of December and will take in over twenty village halls and other small venues, including three in the theatricalEastbourne area. The play is a comedy set in the late 18th century. It will be performed, in the contemporary commedia dell'arte style, by three actors and five "half-human-size" puppets! 

 Mrs Maybelline Erstwhistle keeps a diary of all her social engagements. The diary is her 'Dressing Book' where she records each gown she wears and each man she encounters. She has even recorded the disastrous Annual Pantiles Ball in Tunbridge Wells where Mrs Augusta Rump had been furious to see both herself and Maybelline wearing exactly the same dress. Only prevented from voicing her anger at the Ball by the unfortunate demise of her husband in a duel fought over his mistress, Mrs Rump is now marching up the path to Maybelline's very door to set things straight!

The Central Box Office phone number for all performances is 01323 501260 and all tickets bought on-the-door will be £10 each (no concessions). Some individual venues will also be selling advance tickets themselves.

Barn Theatre Seaford, Thu 15th Nov, 19:30.
Tickets available by calling the Central Box Office on 01323 501260.

Underground Theatre Eastbourne, Wed 21st Nov, 19:30.
Tickets available to buy online. Adult tickets £10, senior citizens £9, students £7.

War Memorial Hall Alfriston, Fri 7th Dec, 19:30.
Tickets available to buy online. Adult tickets £10, senior citizens £9, students £7.

1 comment:

  1. An elegant monochrome set of black screens adorned with white awaited the practically sold out audience and there was a wonderful air of expectation which made us feel part of something special from the start.
    I loved the gorgeous costumes and wigs. All very detailed and created from bright, glittering fabrics, they help the actors appear larger than life and have obviously been created with great care. Pete Talbot’s script is witty and satirical and very well written although a little did get lost as not all the dialogue was easy to hear. The words swept into poetry at times and this was beautifully reflected in the physical movement of Maybelline (Hilda Gardner). I liked the contrast between Maybelline’s delicacy and down-to-earth Fancy (Stevie Thompson). All three actors have tremendous energy and the transition speed between characters is amazing to see. Not only do they change costumes and wigs in seconds, but are completely believable in the new character and voice! Rowan Talbot & Stevie Thompson have the lion’s share of changes between them with Sir George, Dick Wiseacre, Punctilious and Augusta being particularly great fun.
    I am now definitely a Rude Mechanicals convert and eagerly await their next show!

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