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An Invidious Choice

The Theatre Royal Nottington - an architectural masterpiece with marine-based Victorian ventilation.

The ongoing county-wide tour production of Noilly Praton's "unapologetically incorrect" [Balcombe Bugle] feel-good musical 19-to-50 has been selected to reopen Nottington's Theatre Royal, challenging the local culture vultures to choose between this "gloriously and unambiguously saucy" [Nottington Arts Weekly] "treat of a show" [Nottington Theatre Monthly] and the appearance in local cinemas of Clifford Richbone's "The Great 80 Tour" beamed directly from the Royal Edna Hall, Creekmoor.

Noilly Praton at the premiere of 19-to-50 in 2019.

An unenviable, even "invidious" [Moor Crichel Magnet] choice, few will relish missing the one in favour of the other, not least since both appeal to broadly the same demographic with, albeit, a potential gender bias in either direction. [Careful where you are going with this [Ed].] [For the record, 19-to-50 was described by undiscriminating theatre critic Anna Dyne as "a musical Clifford Richbone might have written but with bigger tits" - a description which might imply it was written with a sex-starved, hen-pecked, cuckolded, under-the-thumb, vasectomised sad-sack male audience in mind.] [I did warn you [Ed].] But "nothing", says social psychologist - Massa Ob'Zervashon - "could be further from the truth" - a statement more than vindicated by ticket sales analysis which suggests that women "of a certain age and background" form the core of the audience. Many are life-long fans of male lead Byron Conway who appears on stage wearing only a posing-pouch towards the end of Act 1.

The Theatre Royal, Nottington - a provincial architectural masterpiece designed and built in the late 19th-century by PIddletrenthide-based theaterarchitektenmeister Franz Matchbox - has been closed since the start of lockdown and slow to re-open following a failure of management to convince the RDC and local licensing authorities [The Dorset Theatre Licensing Authority] that its recycled dreadnought battleship ventilation system was anti-CONTRIK-69 protocol compliant. Happily, a breakthrough agreement with local Theatre Bellows Operatives Union, together with a few tweaks to the manually-operated leather bellows system has now allowed the theatre to re-open its doors once again; though matinées are still "verboten" following complaints of RSI by several over-worked junior apprentice hand blowers.

19-to-50, which describes life and love in a young to middle-aged swingers club in Corfe Mullen, is loosely based on the real-life experiences of creator Noilly Praton who joined the club as a freelance single aged 17 following a chance meeting with club owner Peter Stringbonefellow in the checkout queue at a Strouden Park Waitaminutes*. It stars Louise Kort-Napin and Byron Conway both of whom are making a return to the stage following private lockdown-related off-stage issues and, coincidentally, incidents involving prescription marital aids.

* See Ms Praton's autobiography Polar Bare [The Threadbone Press, 2019] has teamed with producers the trulyuselesscompany to bring readers the opportunity to win two free tickets to next Thursday's matinée [since cancelled]. Simply text A or B to 07999 123456 to enter your name. Competition closes at 17.00 on 31st October 2021. The unlucky winner will be selected at random by a well-known tv personality. Terms and Conditions apply. Please make sure that you have the handset operator's permission before texting your response.

Competition Question:

Are Ms Praton's vital statistics: [A] 48-28-34 or [B] 52-28-34 or [C] 54FFF-28-34.

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