By Ken Ludwig


In the summer of 2003 it took us a while to decide which play to do but when we read this one our mind was made up instantly. However, the most daunting thing was not that it was the most manic farces we had read, but the need for all those doors. Yep, a box set! Concept Players never do a box set! Thanks to Penarth Operatic and Drama Society (PODS) we were able to borrow a heap of flats and we added some doors and hey presto, a fantastic set, all creams and reds.

The cast of Lend Me A TenorIt was a couple of firsts as well. It was Jo's Concept debut, though she has a very long pedigree of performances from a young age, and it was Lisa's first play full stop. We also managed to persuade Fiona to take a leading role which, with usual modesty, she panicked about but was flawlessly prepared before the rest of the cast. We were able to combine our talents as both Paul as Max and Nigel as the world famous Italian tenor Tito, both sang beautifully and even the bellhop, played by Ruairidh, had a couple of snatched bars from Mozart!

Paul & FiThe best bit about the wholes show was the walk-down at the end. It is a frantic 2 minute synopsis of the show done to a very bizarre piece of classical music. Every cymbal crash and dramatic pause in the 2 minutes is met by some piece of slapstick. It takes the audience a couple of seconds to realise what is going on but once they twigged they were ecstatic. And you have to finish down front on cue precisely at the right time to take your bows. It was managed just!

So many people came up to members of the company and said how wonderful it was and how good the manic performances were and the cast were just as enthusiastic. Definitely one of the best, if not the best, performance of a play we have done. We just wish we could have done more of a run in different venues like we normally do. But then we come back to the box set....although it looked great, it couldn't fit in our van!



Warming the voice Tito Morelli style


The rehearsal period went really well, just the usual problems of people turning up, but we were helped through it by Lisa's weekly supply of bacon sandwiches at Sunday morning rehearsals. That saved many a hangover from getting really bad!