This Wednesday, we are excited to welcome theatre company BBV (known for their work producing films in the Doctor Who Universe) to the OSO with their new show, Brandon Thomas’ Charley’s Aunt. A classic in every sense of the word, Charley’s Aunt has entertained audiences since it opened in 1892, with countless runs in countries all over the world. The play tells the story of Lord Fancourt Babberley, an undergraduate whose friends persuade him to imitate one of their aunts, with hilarious consequences. This cross-dressing classic has paved the way for many of the most beloved films and shows of the last century. We sat down with William Baggs, the show’s director, to discuss why Charley’s Aunt is the perfect play to perform.
What’s BBV’s background as a company?
I’ve always been a Doctor Who fan, and in my teens developed a passion for drama. BBV was formed after I wanted to come up with a drama for my showreel, so that I could get a job in TV. That was 1992. 17 films and 40 CD dramas later, and we are still going strong! We are now branching out into stage work, taking our ethos of hard work and quality drama and applying it to live performance.
What inspired you to perform Charley’s Aunt?
Charley’s Aunt is a well established, much liked and immensely fun play, that has been a staple of British comedy for over 100 years. You can see the influence of Brandon Thomas’ classic on so much modern theatre, and so we are excited to explore where it all began.
Charley’s Aunt is a comedy from a completely different era. What makes it relevant today?
Despite its age, Charley’s Aunt will always be relevant. It discusses timeless themes of love, deception and passion- all as pertinent for an audience in 2017 as the late 1900’s. It’s also just as funny now as ever- and with the state of the world today, people need a good laugh!
Tell us about the rehearsal process. Any memorable moments?
There have been several memorable moments- with a play this funny, how could there not be! I got Michael Leckie to play Jack (one of Lord Babberley’s friends) with a French accent. Very sexy! And one time he couldn’t get a child minder for his daughter, Primrose, so he rehearsed with Primrose on his shoulders – cute!
What’s next for BBV?
For now, we are taking Charley’s Aunt on tour around the country. Then for our next stage venture, we are tackling Hamlet. On Film, we have just finished a new project: ‘Sunrise: Love Again’, which has just been submitted to London Film Festival. It’s a sweet romcom.
In one sentence, why should people come to see the show?
It’s fast, furious and cheeky with plenty to make you smile!
Charley’s Aunt comes to the OSO for one night only, on Wednesday 26th April. Book your tickets now: