by Graham Linehan
Friday 24 November – Saturday 2 December 201
November sees a very black comedy on our stage. Best known as the Ealing Comedy (and a challenge for our clever set-builders), Linehan’s drama is set in the rickety house of a sweet old lady who inadvertently takes in a gang of inept criminal misfits, then finds herself implicated, then innocently comes out on top, despite her best intentions! Slapstick humour and larger than life characters have made this classic film into the perfect stage play, adapted by Graham Linehan, creator of Father Ted and The IT Crowd.
INTERVIEW WITH JOAN DUFFIN, PLAYING MRS WILBERFORCE
Q. How does it feel playing such an iconic character in a play created from a film?
A. It is a great responsibility playing such an iconic character. I have deliberately not watched the previous adaptations so as not to be influenced by them. Ian and I are building the character. I am looking forward to it tremendously.
Q. Are you enjoying being the only woman on set? Are you keeping the men in order.
A. There will be other women during the run of the play – my “friends” who are coming to watch the concert – but they are not needed yet. It’s fun being the only woman and the men are behaving themselves!
Q. How is the set coming along? Is it difficult to imagine acting on such a complicated set?
A. The set is coming along fine. It is indeed very complex but Ian and the team are working well on it. It is not so bad for me but becomes very involved and complicated for the “Gang”.
Q. How do you usually feel on opening night?
A. On opening night, and indeed every night, I feel fine until I am standing at the side of the stage ready to go on. Then the butterflies start. Once on stage I am OK – hopefully!
Q. What else do you do at Lyceum Theatre Oldham when you are not performing on stage? How long have you been involved?
A. I am the secretary so I help with organising, take minutes at the committee meetings and am the contact for members. Apart from those duties, I help Front of House, on the bar and in the Box Office.