Established 1978

Alloa First Stop For Tryst's Travels With My Aunt

Nov 2, 2015

Pack your bags and grab your passport...because Tryst Theatre’s new show is the globetrotting adventure of a lifetime!

And next month it stops off in Alloa’s Coach House Theatre for four nights...en route to Argentina!

Travels with my Aunt is a rip-roaring, rapid-fire, anarchic comedy which tells the story of retired bank manager Henry Pulling and his exciting adventures with his eccentric Aunt Augusta.

In their madcap travels – from London and Brighton to Paris, Italy, Istanbul and South America - Aunt Augusta pulls Henry away from his dull and safe existence into an exotic world of international intrigue, travel, crime and romance.

Four actors – Jim Allan, Alan Clark, Brian Paterson and Brian Tripney - play Henry plus 25 other larger-than-life characters, changing identities, nationalities, sexes and even species in this high-energy theatrical joyride that will keep you laughing from beginning to end.

At the outset we meet retired, mild-mannered bank manager Henry Pulling at a funeral. A repressed bachelor in his mid-fifties, he leads a boring life in which his idea of excitement is growing dahlias.

At the funeral he encounters for the first time his Aunt Augusta, his complete opposite.

Played by Carol Clark, flamboyant, flame-haired 70-plus Augusta Bertram is both the black sheep of the family and a colourful bird of paradise who lives life to the full. The titian-haired temptress believes in travel, adventure, sex and life as one big party. Eccentric, effervescent and outrageous, she formerly worked as a high-class prostitute in Italy and revelled in small-time crime with her mysterious partner Mr Visconti.

In the play she slowly sets about corrupting Henry. Augusta becomes a bossy, waspish and intrusive mother figure, drawing him into her shady world of smuggling, drugs, hippies, war criminals, CIA operatives and military dictatorships!

Shortly after meeting up with her, Henry has had a run-in with the police, smoked pot on the Orient Express, smuggled money in Turkey and been offered sex in a brothel in Paris.

And by the end he's arranged to marry an underage girl, he's a smuggler working for a drug-running war criminal in a highly dubious South American dictatorship, and he's a witness to murder.

His aunt has indeed opened up a whole new world of possibilities, coaxing Henry out of the prison of suburbia to find freedom. The comedy has a simple message – live dangerously because a life of adventure is far more appealing than pedestrian drudgery.

Travels with my Aunt was a West End hit in the early 90s, winning the Olivier Award for Best Play in 1993. It was also made into an Oscar-winning film in 1972, starring Maggie Smith as Aunt Augusta.

"I'm delighted that Aunt Augusta's travels have brought her to Alloa en route to Argentina and Paraguay,” said Director Jim Allan.

“This wonderfully wacky and riotous play becomes a bit of a theatrical high-wire act over its ninety minutes. Seeing new Henrys pop up all over the stage is a bit like watching a magic show, especially when one of these Henrys becomes someone else right before your eyes without any major costume changes. And these are dream parts for our five actors, especially for the utterly outrageous Aunt Augusta.”

Travels with my Aunt is on at Alloa’s Coach House Theatre on December 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th at 7.30pm nightly. Tickets, £10, are now available online.