Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Polly Hubbard wants Dick with his big chopper
Tony Nichols was born in England, where he worked as an actor before coming to Australia where he has specialised in the use of theatre in business and in producing a range of plays for adults and children.
Back from L, Woolley (Lila Raubenheimer), Mother Hubbard (Brendan Ellis), Polly (Sally Ostrowski) , Duke (Peter Boylen), Hepzibah (Karina Grasshoff), Front, Scuff (Steve Anderson), Ruff (Josh Lang) (Photo courtesy of Stirling Theatre)
One form which combines both is the traditional English Pantomime, where on one, junior, level the play is straight and at another, more adult, there are a number of tongue-in-cheek double-entendres.
Old Mother Hubbard, Stirling Player's final production for 2013 is just such a multi-layered panto, with Polly wanting Dick, rather than the unpleasant Duke, who is her mother's choice of husband so that she and her dog can have a better life after years of bonelessness.
Dick and Polly (Photo courtesy of Stirling Theatre)
Polly runs away and falls into the clutches of a wicked witch with aspirations to become General Panjandrum of the Witches, Warlocks and Miscellaneous Monstrosities Union.
One of the conventions of the English panto is that the principal boy is usually played by a young actress and the dame is played by male in outrageous drag - as is the case here with Old Mother Hubbard (Brendan Ellis who doubles as co-director).
Woolley, Mother Hubbard and Polly (Photo courtesy of Stirling Theatre)