‘WHEN in Rome, do as the Romans do’ is a phrase that will be at the heart of one Littlehampton’s theatre group’s latest show.
The Littlehampton Players Operatic Society (LPOS) will be taking to the stage on Wednesday, as the curtains rise for the group’s next production, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
The musical focuses on the lives and loves of a group of residents on a quiet street in Rome packed full of extraordinary characters.
The story centres around an attempt by slave Pseudolus (played by Littlehampton-based GP Dr Tim Kimber).
Inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus, the musical tells the bawdy story of Pseudolus’ attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master, Hero (played by Luke Martin) woo the girl next door.
Hero is infatuated by the virginal courtesan Philia (Katie-Emma Silverson).
Hero’s mother, Domina (Sue Knight) is eager to do all she can to make sure that Hero is kept well away from the opposite sex, and entrusts his moral well-being to her slave, Hysterium (David Martin).
In the meantime, Domina’s hen-pecked husband Senex (Simon Smith) has his sights set on Philia, too.
Senex and Domina live next door to Marcus Lycus (Jimmy Lynch), a procurer of courtesans (played by Lesley Mercer, Jane Kimber, Mandy Dukes, Tracy Lynch, Sarah Wells-Reed and Laura Thornett), and to Erronius, a rather befuddled, short-sighted old man (played by Richard Howell).
Erronius spends much of the show searching for his children, who were stolen in infancy by pirates.
The show involves many quick-fire entrances and exits to and from three houses, particularly after the arrival of a mighty Roman general, Miles Gloriosus (played by Harry Rippon), to claim Philia as his bride.
Simon Smith, spokesman for the society, said: “The situation gets very complicated and confusing, until it is resolved in a very surprising way.
“The score contains several well-known songs, including Comedy Tonight, Everybody Ought to Have a Maid and Lovely.”
The show is directed by Steve Pannell, with musical direction by Daniel Paine.
It opens from Wednesday and will run until Saturday, May 3, at the Windmill Entertainment Centre, in Littlehampton.
Performances are at 7.30pm.
Tickets range in prices. On the opening night they are £10, while for all other performances they £12.
They are available by ringing the LPOS box office 01903 721860.