The Performing Arts Association of Notre Dame Australia (PAANDA) is a space for artistic expression amongst amateur performers based at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus.
English Victorian comedy Charley’s Aunt by Brandon Thomas will open at the Prindiville Hall, University of Notre Dame, at 19 Mouat Street, Fremantle WA. Tickets are currently on sale for 7 shows between Tuesday 30 October 2018 and Saturday 10 November 2018 from 6:45pm.
Charley’s Aunt was first performed in 1892 at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds before progressing to the Globe Theatre in 1893.
There, Charley’s Aunt was breaking all historical records of any play success, with an original London run of 1 466 performances. That same year, the play was brought to and succeeded on Broadway, touring internationally and being followed by silent films by Charlie Chaplin’s brother Sydney Chaplin, and a hit 1941 film. PAANDA Director, Troy Anthony has brought the comedy and old charm of this classic production to life nearly 130 years later.
Oxford students Charley Wykeham (Edward Blake) and Jack Chesney (Michael Allan) are deeply in love with Amy Spettigue (Tessa Harris) and Kitty Verdun (Annabelle Segler). But to propose to the girls they need a chaperone with them – desperately. Charley and Jack recruit dramatic fellow student Lord Fancourt Babberley (Matthew Jones) to pose in drag – as Charley’s Aunt from Brazil, Donna Lucia (Ana Ferreira Manhoso).
Seems easy, right?
However, things become a bit complicated when Amy’s uncle and Kitty’s guardian, Mr Stephen Spettigue (Christopher Vogas) and Jack’s father Sir Francis Chesney (Giacamo Groppoli) compete for the affection of Babberley (as Donna Lucia). Donna Lucia rocks up for tea with her niece Ela (Ella Gorringe), who may have a special connection to Babberly. All the meanwhile, the maid Brasset (Harriet Lobrieger) is in the middle of the drama that unfolds.
Edward Blake is Charley, a shy and considerate man who is trying his best to deal with Babberley (as his aunt). Michael Allan is Jack Chesney, a charming and mature man who is possibly regretting the pair’s wonderful idea. Tessa Harris and Annabelle are Amy and Kitty respectively, both lovers of the boys and perhaps are a bit too fond of Donna Lucia (actually Babberley!).
Ana Ferreira Manhoso is the real Donna Lucia, an intelligent and sassy mature woman, who is accompanied by Ella Gorringe, who portrays Ela; an innocent girl who is preoccupied by a previous connection to Babberly. Giacomo Groppolli is Francis Chesney, a spritely, confident ex-Colonel, and Christopher Vogas is Stephen Spettigue, a crusty old man who just may find Babberly (as the fake Donna Lucia) can turn his love life, and fortunes, around. Harriet Lobegeiger joins the cast as Brasset, Jack’s kind but sarcastic maid who is left to pick up the pieces of the chaos that unfolds.
PAANDA’s production of Charley’s Aunt offers stunning costumes and a set reminiscent of 1890s Victorian England to set the scene of a hilarious three-act spectacle.