Audiences gear up for a Mini adventure

CALLING all fans of the cult 1969 film The Italian Job … the Court Theatre in Tring has a very special treat in store for you.

Remember all those gags, the girls, the gold bullions, and those minis weaving through the plazas of Turin?

And what about that ending … when the coach is left teetering over the edge of the cliff, gold slipping doorwards as Michael Caine’s Charlie Croker utters his immortal words while the credits begin to roll?

It’s an action-packed, high-energy tale which couldn’t possibly be done on stage. Or, could it?

Inspiration struck director Dan Clucas when he played Richard Hannay in Tring’s version of Patrick Barlow’s award-winning adaptation of The 39 Steps – a romantic comedy romp through Hitchcock’s classic 1930’s film performed by four actors playing up to 100 parts.

He said: “At the end of 39 Steps I thought, how can we top that? What would be even more impossible to do?”

And so next week’s production began to take shape, taking Crocker’s wonderfully understated last line as its title because it sums up perfectly the creativity and ingenuity necessary to put The Italian Job with all its classic moments on stage.

There’s the explosion of the van which prefaced that other memorable line, ‘You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off’, the frenetic chase scenes, the cliff hanger, it’s all included.

Mike Code who is currently playing Scrooge in Tring Festival Company’s production of A Christmas Carol takes on Michael Caine’s role as Charlie Croker.

Maxine Reece, also in A Christmas Carol, and who went down a storm as verger Alice Horton in last year’s production of The Vicar of Dibley, plays Lorna.

Olly Gower who is looking to study drama at college, seasoned Court Theatre performer Derek Rookley, and Wayne MacLaughlin who played Ray Say in Frayed Knot’s recent production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, make up the rest of the cast.

Frayed Knot is thrilled to have received funding from the Tring Arts Trust for the play.

Dan Clucas said: “The 39 Steps was so well-received Tring Arts Trust wanted us to have a go at really experimenting with this project.

“It’s fantastic to have their support and we hope to do them proud. It’s been a tremendous, truly explorative journey.”

Look forward to ingenious theatrical devices, plus puppetry, singing and dancing.

There may even be some opportunity for audience members to get involved in the heist.

Frayed Knot Theatre Company presents Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got A Great Idea at the Court Theatre in Tring on Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10 at 8pm.

Call the box office on 07543 560478 for tickets or go to www.courttheatre.co.uk. Alternatively pop into Beechwood Fine Foods, 42 Frogmore Street, Tring and pick them up in person.