Welcome to the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Bermuda

Article published October 6. 2010 06:06AM
Red light spectacle::


By Jessie Moniz

The latest Gilbert & Sullivan Society (G&S) production opening tonight, takes Bermuda back to a time when chicken farms could be brothels, and when brothels could be paid in live chickens.

The G&S production of 'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' written by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, runs until October 16.

The story is about a little Texas brothel known as the Chicken Ranch – so named because, during the Depression, customers were allowed to pay with poultry. The brothel is run by Miss Mona Stangley, a former prostitute herself.

Melvin P. Thorpe, a television commentator, is about to go on the air with "Nemisis", a watchdog programme that is supposedly committed to exposing social and commercial abuse, but in reality is only a front for giving Melvin himself exposure so that he can bathe in the limelight.

Melvin proclaims to his audience the surprising revelation that 'Texas Has Whorehouse in It'. He declares that this evil must be brought to an end and calls on the local sheriff to shut the Chicken Ranch down.

Miss Mona always has the right people to call on for advice; with 'special' relationships with politicians, local business leaders and even the law. Will Mona be able to prevent the Chicken Ranch's demise or will Melvin P. Thorpe succeed?

Cast members include Michael Hind as Deputy Fred, Alan Brooks as Doatsie Mae, Nancy Thompson as Mona, Philip Jones as Melvin, Ed Chistopher as the Governor, Jenny Burrell as Angel, Kelly Souza as Shy, Denise Whitter as Jewel and Mark Hamilton as Sheriff.

The play is directed by Jenny Sawyer who trained at Arts Educational. Her early credits, as a performer, include many West End musicals such as 'West Side Story' at Her Majesty's Theatre, 'Me And My Girl' at the Adelphi Theatre, 'Fiddler On The Roof' and 'Camelot' at the Apollo Victoria, 'Edwin Drood' at the Savoy and 'Sherlock Holmes' at the Cambridge Theatre.

Whilst performing 'Edwin Drood', Ms Sawyer became assistant to the choreographer Graziella Danielle. She then took up the same duties on 'Annie' at the Thorndike Theatre, 'Leatherhead' and on 'Moby Dick' and 'Which Witch' at the Piccadilly Theatre.

She has recently worked as Resident Director on the European tour and 'West End' productions of 'The Rat Pack' and most recently as Associate Director on London's West End production of 'Dirty Dancing'.

The musical director of the play is Londoner Dan Jackson whose credits include, but are not limited to, 'The White Guard', 'London Assurance' and 'Burnt By The Sun' (National Theatre), 'Piaf' (Vaudeville), 'Jerry Springer The Opera' (UK Tour), 'Chicago' (International Tour), 'The Master and Margarita' (Chichester).

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