Secrets refuse to stay buried in Arundel Players’ ingenious black comedy

Losing Louis in rehearsal. Photograph by Nigel Cull

Losing Louis in rehearsal. Photograph by Nigel Cull

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Losing Louis, a black comedy interwoven with events from past and present, is the next production from the Arundel Players.

Written by Simon Mendes da Costa and directed by Rosey Purchase, it opens at the Priory Playhouse Theatre, London Road, Arundel, on Monday, April 4, for six nights starting at 7.30pm.

Set in a family bedroom in two time frames, the 1960s and the present day, Losing Louis spans two generations of a family with secrets that refuse to remain buried and erupt as family members gather together for Louis’ funeral.

Rosey, who is directing her fifth play for Arundel Players, said: “I just knew as soon as I read the play it would be perfect for Arundel Players. The action moves seamlessly between the past and present, and the play has all the qualities I always look for; strong characters, sad and laugh-out-loud moments.

“The play premiered at the Hampstead Theatre in 2005 with Alison Steadman, Lynda Bellingham and Brian Protheroe in the cast. It reveals the effects of Louis’ infidelity that reverberated throughout his lifetime, and continues in the aftermath of his death.

“All the action takes place in Louis’ bedroom, where the truth about the family is finally discovered. After many years of separation, the two sons and their wives come together for the funeral of their father Louis, played by Matthew Hughes-Short.

“The play begins in the home Louis shares with his pregnant wife Bobbie, played by Angela Barber and Bella, his legal protégée, played by Daisy Imbert.

“Moving on a generation, we see the offspring, Louis’ two sons, Tony and Reggie, who are now middle aged, return to the family home to attend their father’s funeral with their wives.

“Tony played by Steve Wallace is a bit of a loser, but Reggie his younger brother, played by Richard Greenhorn, is very successful.

“The two wives, like their husbands, are chalk and cheese. Tony’s wife Sheila, played by Liz Lawrence, is rather blousy but good-hearted, while apparently cultured Elizabeth, played by Lucinda Dearlove, is a successful business woman.

“There are some wonderful comic moments and the plot will keep everyone guessing. I hope and believe Losing Louis will offer our audiences a great evening’s entertainment. It’s a very clever play with moments that will take the audience by surprise.”

Tickets cost £12 (members £10) and are available by calling the Arundel Players box office on 07523 417926 between 9am and 9pm daily.

For any further information about Losing Louis or joining Arundel Players, as an acting or non-acting member, please visit www.arundelplayers.org.uk.

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