OPENING Solihull’s first ever comedy festival this weekend, is MadCap Theatre Productions’ hilarious parody of amateur dramatics.
Little Grimley’s Troubles Tripled is about a struggling village hall am dram society who decide that there is only one thing that can boost their abysmal ticket sales... sex.
Thus begins a joke-filled journey as a wannabe diva, a worn out leader, a librarian with a passion for musicals and a set designer with stage fright take to the boards to save the group they love.
MadCap artistic director Emma Leigh said she had chosen David Tristram’s comedy after starting her own career on the amateur stage.
“We’ve all got experience of am dram,” she says. “We know all of these people.You get those characters in the professional world as well. Especially the diva ones.
“It’s a parody of amateur theatre. But that’s not to say we’re a professional company taking the mick out of it. I think if you have knowledge of theatre, it will be closer to home but the characters are so good, it stands alone. Everyone can enjoy it.
“It’s how everyone imagines an amateur group to be.”
Writer David Tristram said real-life characters he had met on the am dram circuit helped inspire the larger than life ensemble.
“I think it would be unfair to say I based it on one group. It’s an amalgamation. Most people can recognise certain traits Obviously there is a pre-conceived notion about what am dram is. But they are all just human beings.”
The only play to feature at the comedy festival, Little Grimley’s launches Lolihull at Solihull Arts Complex tomorrow (Saturday).
But Leigh says the play’s sense of humour will fit well with the stand-ups playing the same theatre.
“We’ve had people on Twitter saying they have been crying with laughter. The comedy in our show is observational, it’s not a farce or really over the top. It’s like a sitcom for the stage. It fits very well into the whole Lolihull thing.”