Sending Up The Pink Panther

Is a clever comedy show from Upstage Theatre Inc., stealing everything from great one-liners of “The Pink Panther” to the necklace known as - “The Darjeeling Diamond”.

Set in the last century, this classic “Who Dun It” joins the cash-poor ,asset rich widow Lady Carbuncle who has her necklace stolen while entertain visitors (including the Audience) in Carbuncle Manor.

The bumbling“Chief Inspector Detective Cluedo”arrives at the Manor house to solve the crime. With a hotchpotch of characters including Rupert the Uppercrust Butler, Ruby a Cockney Maid, Crystal the mysterious companion of Lady Carbuncle, Diamond Solitaire a Movie Star , Father Rick O’Shea an Irish Priest, and of Course Lady Carbuncle herself. Plus of course no mystery would be complete without a Ghost.

All play out the scenes with the Audience to find out who is the real culprit ,and solve the crime of “The Curse of The Darjeeling Diamond.

There is a barrel of laughs, action and hilarity for all, while the Audience get involved fill out their clue sheets and get a prize if they guess who the real culpit is..And then get to relish in the last moment when all is revealed and Cluedo finally solves the case!

Yes with this Stellar Cast and the flamboyant show tunes and Lyrics by John Penberthy, the punters are in for a grand time.

Reviews

By Rod Lewis on Feb 24, 2019
Reviewed at the Irish Club on 23 February 2019

Theft abounds, and it’s both witnessed and heard in Upstage Theatre’s latest foray into the ridiculous. Specialising in adult musical comedies and Upstage Theatre has been a stalwart of the Adelaide theatre scene for more than 20 years, providing light-hearted entertainment that’s built to travel, often resulting in the company gracing the stages of both metropolitan and regional areas. The troupe’s sense of fun is real and infectious. It’s hard not to have a good time.

Some of the characters are a scream. Bronwyn Calvett’s drunken Lady Agatha is divine, as is her singing voice. Movie star Diamond Solitaire (Linda Lawson) is in equally fine voice and hams it up nicely, although not as much as Deirdre Quinn who often steals her scenes as the lower-class, smartarse Cockney maid, Ruby. Benjamin Bath somehow manages to add dignity and stillness to the frivolity as the wonderfully proper butler, while John Martin’s incompetent Inspector Cluedo, with his poor grasp of English, gets the bulk of the laughs. Ellie Miles and Stephen Popowski complete the human cast as Lady Agatha’s companion and a priest respectively, with poor Barnabus the dog barely visible at Lady Agatha’s feet.

This show is 90 minutes of laughs and a return to simple, old-style entertainment.

Congratulations must go to Upstage Theatre Productions for their outstanding performance of "Inspector Cluedo & the Curse of the Darjeeling Diamond". Throughout the night the audience laughed as one with plenty of smart one-liners and, of course, red herrings (which Inspector Cluedo insisted were red sardines).

Individual performances were strong and each character played their role with gusto.

The singing, the script and the lyrics were exemplary.

Well done to all of the cast and crew for a great night of entertainment.

The Irish Club, 2nd March 2019.
Margaret Roberts

Well what a fun night at the theatre - Inspector Cluedo & the Curse of the Darjeeling Diamond. We are accustomed to Upstage theatre Productions being fun & good but in this one they have excelled themselves. The venue, the Adelaide Irish Club enhanced their performance & the cast played to it by slipping in a few well choreographed Irish dance steps & an audience sing-a-long, both very well accepted.

What made this performance exceptional apart from the great script & music was the degree to which each actor played their part. We are accustomed to saying Deirdre Quinn, in this instance playing the role of The Cockney Maid Ruby, stole the show. Deirdre played every moment & brought so many laughs she nearly did steal the show except everyone else was so fantastic. I did too admire Deirdre's Irish dancing!

The scene was set by Benjamin Bath in his role as Rupert the Uppercrust Butler. Benjamin maintained his character & projection throughout. We don't know how Bronwyn Calvert as Lady Agatha maintained her balance after every amusing alcoholic drink she consumed & oh her singing was delightful & amusingly operatic. Her companion Crystal played by Ellie Miles provided us with a wonderful & consistent contrast depicting a far less easy role. Stephen Popowski in his role of Father Rick O'Shea (was this another recognition of the Irish venue?) showed a great variety of performance skills including a wonderful singing voice. Famous Movie star Diamond Solitaire played by Linda Lawson maintained an amazing energy throughout & we were wooed by her varied singing talents.

For me I was perpetually overwhelmed with laughter by Inspector Cleudo himself played by John Martin. His performance was so naturally incompetent it obviously took a great deal of acting skill to portray. I thought This can't be scripted - he is on the fly but all the actors kept with him so well so who knows. Even Barnabus the Ghost Dog did an amazing retreat from stage. The whole performance was so tight & so funny with every character so different & complete.

I would like to acknowledge the contribution made by the technical crew. All actors had great projection & didn't require sound reinforcement but it was discretely added to enhance the singing to great soundtracks by sound tech Malcolm Calvert. Lighting tech Mo Cochrane was so proficient in her lighting tasks that we felt it was all natural or rather truly super-natural. Great contributions done very inconspicuously! I kept admiring the costumes & realised of course they were by costuming stalwart Violet Rowe. I believe the music was originally by that wonderful past Upstage pianist John Pemberthy & this explains the great choice & range of music. Who wrote the great script?

Well done Upstage. If you haven't seen it, book early because this performance was booked out.

Fringe review Irish Club 2nd March 2019.
Kate Townsend ..... The Singing Gazebo
Inspector Cluedo and the Curse of the Darjeeling Diamond

Upstage Theatre you have done it again! A joint effort with Lyall Schulz of Barley Stacks South Kilkerran on the Yorke Peninsula. A dinner and show was organised by Lyall and John and Deidre from Upstage Theatre for Saturday 23rd March, 2019, at Barley Stacks Winery.

The venue was perfect, the stage ready, dinner was served and the show started to a sold out crowd.

As the title explains the show starts with the audience closely watching the cast and wondering who is the thief who steals the Darjeeling Diamonds?

Bronwyn Calvett was glorious in her portrayal of Lady Agatha Carbuncle who was cash strapped and cannot afford to insure her manor house but she made sure her diamonds were well insured. Will she steal her own diamonds?

Benjamin Bath plays Rupert, the rather uppercrust Butler. He plays his part well with a stiff upper lip, leaving the audience wondering; “Did the butler do it?”

Deidre Quinn plays Ruby, the cockney Maid, with her trusty duster, a force to be reckoned with, always keeping the staff on their toes. She is the glue that keeps the show going with a fabulous performance and song, and interaction with the audience. Is she so busy dusting and bustling around the Castle that she is overlooked as a suspect?

Ellie Miles plays Crystal, Lady Agatha’s Companion and she certainly looked and played the part well, never leaving Lady Agatha’s side, but does this mean she is too loyal to steal the diamonds?

Stephen Popowski plays the new priest Father Rick O’Shea. He is a devoted man of the cloth who certainly looks and acts the part well. He believes “Temptation is a mortal sin” BUT he also preaches “God helps those who help themselves”…. What does this mean, certainly the new priest is not a thief?

Linda Lawson arrives on stage, she plays a movie star “Diamond Solitaire”. Her American accent is perfect and although Diamond Solitaire appears to be very glamorous and wealthy we find out her career has stalled and she is broke. Linda also sings bringing a superb performance as Diamond Solitaire. BUT surely she wouldn’t stoop as low as to steal the Darjeeling Diamonds?

Inspector CLUEDO is played by John Martin. What a performance, the script, the hilarious bumbling, the clothes with the very big black shiny shoes, the typical coat and hat. John played a very believable Inspector Cluedo and had the audience in stitches. I cannot think of anyone else who would be able to play this part so well. He always solves the Crim..! BUT can he solve this crim.. that is about to happen?

I’m afraid I cannot give the show away, if you want to know who did it….contact UPSTAGE THEATRE!

This show was so professional, as only UPSTAGE THEATRE CAN PERFORM, the cast expertly cast in the right characters and the costumes were certainly typical of the era. Everyone must be thanked

for a very entertaining professional show, from the cast to the writer (adaptions by John Martin), director, sound and lighting technicians, and Costumes, and set designer.

A big thank you too to Lyall Schulz for putting on a magnificent two course dinner arranged by the Maitland Lutheran School Parents & Friends and Barley Stacks Wines, and the perfect venue.

What’s next UPSTAGE THEATRE, keep up the good work!

I enjoyed the show immensely.

Maxine Patterson – Maxine Miller Production
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