5:17pm Tuesday 15th October 2013
By Bev Holder
COMEDY internet character Doreen raised the roof when she made her stage debut in the borough at the weekend.
Black Country playwright David Tristram’s fictional out-of-work mum, who became a YouTube sensation last year, is being brought to life in a series of stage shows across the Midlands - all of which have now sold out.
Dudley College’s Evolve Theatre was the first venue in the borough to host An Audience With Doreen, on Saturday (October 12), which left theatre-goers almost rolling in the aisles with laughter.
The thick Black Country accented spoof character, who suffers from ‘lazy cow syndrome’, has developed something of a cult status in these parts off the back of David’s mockumentary video Doreen’s Story which received more than a million hits on YouTube.
This was evident the moment Walsall actress Gill Jordan, who plays Doreen, stepped onto the stage.
The packed audience at the 167-seat college theatre exuded a warmth for the comedy character usually reserved for established artists.
And by the end of the laugh-a-minute show, which interspersed live action with video sketches, they treated her to a standing ovation which was fully deserved.
Her deadpan delivery of David’s witty script, which was littered with many Black Country gags and references, was superb.
She also depicted fabulously a host of other characters, with various different accents, seen in a series of pre-recorded sketches which helped the stage action to flow - the best of which were send-offs of Margaret Thatcher and American TV’s Judge Judy.
Fellow cast members also provided sterling support - particularly Darren Haywood who doubled up to play multiple roles (a fact comically acknowledged throughout by Doreen), the highlight of which was a hilarious send-up of Midlands Today newsreader Nick Owen.
Emma Rollason and Rob Phillips, who both played a variety of roles, and Jacky Fellows as Doreen’s ironing lady Doris, also gave sparkling performances.
The attention to detail throughout was delightful and the show was nothing short of comedy gold - far funnier than many of today’s trending TV sitcoms.
In fact if the public appetite for all things Doreen is anything to go by - TV executives ought to be falling over themselves to turn the character into a small screen star.
But not one to wait around Quarry Bank-born David has already started a crowdfunding bid to bring Doreen to the big screen next spring - in a “less DIY” fashion than his previous Inspector Drake films, he said.
In the meantime - another date for An Audience With Doreen has been added in response to public demand.
The show will also now run at Bridgnorth’s Theatre On The Steps on Wednesday November 6.
To book tickets, or for more details on ‘Doreen - The Movie’, check out www.doreen.tv
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