Mr Bartlett has always been a highly valued member of staff at Tuffin’s department store. His plush suite on the sixth floor looks more like a dressing room than an office – hardly surprising, as, being an ex-actor, Mr B is on-call to slip into any one of a lengthy cast-list of characters at the drop of a hat. Kitted out in a convincing disguise, he’ll arrive on the shop-floor, masquerading as that department’s manager in order to appease any disgruntled or irate customers.
As we shall discover, Mr B’s talent for cover-up extends beyond his professional duties, with a terrible secret locked in his make-up box. In the run-up to Christmas, “The Fabulist” will undertake his greatest performance yet.
THE FABULIST marked a welcome return for Feather Productions to The Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington for its run at the end of 2006. Directed by Howard Ward and designed by fabled film, TV and stage designer Eileen Diss, the play starred Paul Goodwin as MR BARTLETT. He was joined by Tessa Churchard as corrupt private investigator SUSAN ARMSTRONG, Joanna Mays as ‘MADAM’ – an irate customer hiding a grisly secret, Rosie Wilkinson as compassionate beautician TWINKLE AMES and Paul Reynolds as the store’s hapless trustafarian general manager ELLIOTT TUFFIN. We were also lucky enough to secure the very special participation of Fenella Fielding as the store’s sultry ANNOUNCER.
‘Verdict: Fabulous Darling! Sharp, funny and enormously entertaining… The underlying black humour which is Whitnall’s brilliance… A delightful and funny fable’
‘Tim Whitnall’s sharp satirical play… This effervescent fringe production could easily dethrone many of its glitzier West End counterparts… Go and see The Fabulist and you’ll have the time of your life… Definitely the genuine article’
‘This hilarious play is a comic collision of style and skullduggery’ CITY AM
‘Absolutely Fabulist… A fast and energetic thriller that keeps it’s snugly packed punters chuckling into their pints… thick stream of colourful wit… a succinct plot that holds your attention and keeps you guessing until the final gag’ AUSTRALIAN TIMES
‘There are plenty of laughs scattered throughout the play, and some really comic performances… The set, making clever use of the Old Red Lion’s small performance space, is inventive and serves its multiple locations well’ REVIEWSGATE
‘The pandering staff with antiquated values amusingly bring Mr. Humphries and cohorts to mind… A bumbling, coked-up store manager is played to great effect by Paul Reynolds… The buoyant performances from the five strong cast and the tight knit script keep the action rolling on’ METRO
‘A whiff of high camp when Paul Goodwin as Mr Bartlett enters in drag... Paul Reynolds, a coked-up David Brent-type character with misfiring jokes, general inefficiency and cringeworthy faux-pas. Both do well, delivering the bulk of the comedy... Rosie Wilkinson the bright and breezy beautician… Tessa Churchard a cool and sexy troubleshooter’ THE STAGE
‘Howard Ward’s production benefits from a smart set and an even smarter cast who know how to milk the laughs from the script’ TIME OUT