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THE drama wasn’t quite over when the Manama Theatre Club thespians stepped out on stage for a final round of applause after their latest production … as a large section of the audience stepped up in unison to steal the show with a flash mob performance of their own.
Stunned actor, Guy Parker, was suddenly placed under the spotlight as the Manama Singers marked his birthday with a version of the Beatles’ classic When I’m Sixty-Four.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Guy, an English language lecturer at the University of Bahrain. “I had no idea they had anything planned – it was a complete surprise.”
Guy had been playing the role of Buttram, a bumptious family butler, in the light-heart comedy called A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody by Roy Bernas which had been playing to sell-out crowds throughout its run last week at the British Club.
Friday evening’s show was a theatrical dinner experience with a three-course meal being served at the tables for the audience. Guy would have noticed a few familiar faces in the crowd as he’s also a member of the Manama Singers.
One of the kingdom’s most iconic community institutions, the group of passionate vocalists rehearse every Tuesday evening at the Dilmun Club in Saar. In recent weeks Guy has been told to ‘stay at home’ as the choir was holding ‘women-only’ sessions.
In fact, they were all gathering to finalise their flash mob surprise and put the male and female parts together in perfect harmony for delivering on the night.
The play went to perfect precision too, without a hint of the off-stage drama that had taken place just days earlier when an electrical outage meant the cast had to rehearse under torch light.
The farcical fun was captured in all its glory by Matthew, played by Paul Phillips, who had made a New Year’s resolution to get rid of his wife, Julia, a role taken on with class and charisma by Catherine Noor. Throw in a dizzy daughter, Bunny (Stacey Barlow) and her beau Donald (Sam McClure) and a detective called Plotnik played with aplomb and a rather dodgy gangster accent (Ben Davis) and you get the gist, this was a splendid night of entertainment.
Congratulations go to director Sowsan Hasan and producer Carrie Bell for keeping the night moving sweetly along and taking the post show celebrations in their stride.
Often in family crime epics, it’s the butler who did it. Not this time, it was definitely the Manama Singers!