Divorce Me Darling

Published : 9:47 am  March 24, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (847) reads | 

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For the first time in the history of both schools, the Past Pupils’ Association of Bishop’s College and the Old Boys’ Association of S Thomas’ College got together to produce a hilarious musical comedy

Recruiting highly talented past students from both schools, this joint theatre production ‘Divorce Me Darling’, was a sweeping success. Celebrating the common heritage of the historical bonds developed through decades of camaraderie and the traditions of being in the forefront of theatre throughout the years, ‘Divorce Me Darling’ was a truly memorable theatre extravaganza with song, dance and intrigue that was enjoyed by a variety of people.

The evening began with everyone in the auditorium standing up for the two School Songs. The two anthems, sung with such passion and love for the alma maters, echoed in all corners of the packed auditorium. This was a unique and emotional moment! It’s not often that a brother and sister school sing their anthems together, and I’m sure it brought a lot of pride and joy to the hearts of every past and present student in the audience.

‘Divorce Me, Darling!,’ directed by Thushara Hettihamu and assisted by Nafeesa Amiruddeen and Jith Peiris, was a nostalgic take on the musical comedies of the 1930s and a sequel to the ‘The Boy Friend’. The charming young pupils of Madame Dubonnet’s finishing school who married their respective ‘boyfriends’ come together again after ten years of marriage at the Hotel du Paradis in Nice. But as the initial euphoria of married life has worn off, they sing and dance their way through some catchy numbers. After the overture, the curtains open to gilt-edged pillars and a grand red carpeted staircase, a fully stacked bar and portraits of European royalty: the glamorous foyer of the Hotel du Paradis at Nice on the French Riviera. The hotel manager Gaston is the first to strut in singing ‘Here We Are in Nice Again’ followed by an assortment of hotel guests. Outside you could see the old street lamps and an elegant stone structure.The ambiance of the set designed and executed by Jith Pieris was terrific.

You couldn’t help but be transported to Europe in the early 20th Century. Our heroine Polly and her friends are back in Nice for some fun in the sun without their husbands. They discover that handsome, ex-playboy Bobby Van Husen is also in town… ‘sans’ his wife, their old schoolmate Maisie. When they spend an evening catching up, the door to yet another series of misunderstandings and complications is opened. This time it involves a tell-tale lipstick smear, a trio of health nuts, a mysterious cabaret singer and a plot to assassinate a South American president.

When Maisie and the girls’ husbands descend on Nice – divorce is in the air! Act two opens outside the Cafe Pataplon. Hannah, whose character epitomises the element of comedy, mentions the scarf as well as the lipstick stain on the glass and provokes another argument and songs of ‘Divorce Me, Darling’ between suddenly unhappy couples. In sharp comedic contrast, Hannah laments her unattached state with “Here Am I, But Where’s The Guy?” bemoaning the fact that “every time that I spot him/ some other dame has already got him.” After all the twists and turns the story ends with ‘…….and they lived happily ever after’ which I believe the audience has come to believe will last only another ten years until the girls relive their escapades. ‘Here we are in Nice again’, ‘Someone to dance with’,

‘Whatever happened to love?, ‘Lights! Music!, ‘Together again, ‘Divorce Me, Darling!’, ‘Here am I, But where’s the guy?’, ‘Out of step’, ‘Fancy forgetting’, ‘You’re absolutely me’, ‘Back where we started’, ‘Blondes for danger’ and ‘Swing-time Is here to stay’ were some of the memorable songs that were performed. The singing was just amazing! Such a lot of talent on one platform, it was spectacular! The resounding success sure made the audience want another collaboration of these two institutions to happen in the near future!