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Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:44 am
by Ghastly
I'm currently the Music Director for the play Trafford Tanzi. I'm also one of the two people playing the part of Dean Rebel. The play is brutally physical and we were all trained by professional wrestlers. I have a new found respect for entertainment wrestling.


I've rewritten the songs for the play, keeping as much of the original lyrics as possible but changing the songs from cheesy theatre organ music into something a little more Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Here's Dad's Song from the opening night production.

Here's an interview for the play I did at View Magazine.

Here's the facebook page for the play.

Here's a TV interview I did for the play.

The nights I'm performing as Dean Rebel are Feb 19,25,27 March 4,6

Webpage for the theatre

Re: Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:05 pm
by Churba
I'm tired and a little wonky, but my first two thoughts were

1)a play with Unca G? dude, Awesome

2)I would totally watch WWE style professional wrestling, if it was written by ghastly.

Re: Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:52 pm
by Aeridus
Looks like crazy awesome fun! :D Go Unca!

Re: Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:39 pm
by Kittyboymuffin
Lookin' rather splendid in that photo~

Re: Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:24 am
by Infinity-Iz-Blue
I almost didn't recognize you with long hair and no glasses.

the first review is in

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:32 pm
by Ghastly
Hamilton Spectator

Smack-down entertainment
Gary Smith

What: Trafford Tanzi
Who: Village Theatre Waterdown
Where: Memorial Hall, 317 Dundas St. E. Waterdown
When: Feb. 26,27 March 5,6 at 8pm. Matinee at 2pm, Feb 28
Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door
Call: 905-690-7889

They're giving out earplugs at Village Theatre Waterdown. Well, Trafford Tanzi is that sort of play.

And when you add a thumpedy-thump rock band shaking the place to its rafters, those plags are pretty much necessary.

We're at a wrestling match. There's a ring in the centre of the room, the sort where Whipper Billy Watson used to knock blokes to the floor in Hamilton's old Forum. Backless bleachers stand on one side of the space, chairs surround the rest of the ring.

With blood-red ropes, that ring's a reminder this is a battle zone. The battle there is between poor abused Tanzi, her gormless loud-mouthed father, her moronic sex-crazed mother and Tanzi's hot dude of a husband.

Claire Luckham's 1980 play is an edgy feminist drama that turns on the so-called battle of the sexes.

It began life in a Manchester pub (Trafford in the title refers to a borough of that city) and had a raucous and coarse life in Manchester, Liverpool and London theatres.

Tanzi crossed the Atlantic to Broadway renamed Teaneck Tanzi and met instant failure closing in New York after one night.

Well, the play is peculiarly British.

At Village Theatre Waterdown, Mike Rae and his excellent design team have created a terrific environment for Tanzi's rather vulgar story. Trouble is Luckham's play hasn't any real depth or passion beyond its surface rant and rage. Because the characters are simply cartoons it's difficult to care much about - beyond feeling Tanzi has been cheated by life.

Luckham disguises her play as a feminist battle and, of course, she has valid points to make about the way women are sometimes thrown to the mat by men.

But is a woman battling in a ring to gain power over an unfaithful husband who isn't worth having more than role reversal? Shouldn't a relationship be founded on more than physical one-upmanship? I think so.

Now before someone reminds me this is all a metaphor let me say I know. It's just that other writers of greater wit and intelligence, such as Caryl Churchill, have tackled the male-female thing with greater insight.

Given this, Rae and Village Theatre have given the piece a gutsy go. The staging in the round doesn't always take into account necessary choreography to keep the play hitting all sides of the performance space. The acting veers greatly from the bravura rawness of crotch-clutching Chris Cracknell as wrestling hubby Dean Rebel to a timid approach Alaina Mayer as Tanzi. (The role is shared with Rachel Janosi and Meghan Storey, as well.)

Mayer isn't able to convince us she could actually top her hubby in the ring and that robs this production of power.

Still, she makes a go of the play's wrestling matches and deserves full marks for taking her falls.

The music for this production, written by Cracknell and played by his rock band Science Ninja Big Ten band is loud and lively.

Now whether Luckham would approve having her own music replaced is another matter. Certainly interpolations of Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man and Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue seem out of place, whether they were original in Tanzi or not.

Dianne McEwan as mum, Andrew Finnigan as dad and Kyla McCall as Platinum Sue work hard to connect with Luckham's raw humour. And George Sanford as The Ref and Dr. Grope has a whale of a time berating the audience, whipping up heat in the ring and selling himself in general.

Is Trafford Tanzi a great play? No. Does Village Theatre work hard to make it an entertaining, ambitious evening of theatre? You bet.

Should you go see it? Sure. Should you take advantage of those ear plugs offered? Damn right.

Gary Smith has written on theatre and dance for the Hamilton Spectator for more than 30 years.

Re: Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:42 pm
by Ghastly

Re: Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:42 am
by Aeridus
I'm glad it went well! :D So when are you going to star in your own movie? ;)

Re: Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:22 am
by Churba
Aeridus wrote:I'm glad it went well! :D So when are you going to star in your own movie? ;)

He already has, but you don't get to see those. ;)

Re: Trafford Tanzi

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:48 pm
by Aeridus
Churba wrote:
Aeridus wrote:I'm glad it went well! :D So when are you going to star in your own movie? ;)

He already has, but you don't get to see those. ;)

Hahaha, aw man. Do I have to pay extra to get into the secret part of the store? ;)