Saturday, November 9th, 2013

NAUGHTY, saucy and farcical – Garrick Theatre’s latest offering isn’t a commentary on Troy Buswell’s political career but it does prove that parliamentary life is anything but boring.

Written by Edward Taylor and John Graham and directed by theatre stalwart Fred Petersen, Pardon Me, Prime Minister is a laugh-a-minute romp as skeletons in the closet come back to haunt the UK PM.

Playwright Taylor had a 36-year career with BBC and worked on many classic series including I'm Sorry – I'll Read That Again, Dr Finlay’s Casebook, Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies.

Pardon Me, Prime Minister is set on the night the PM and Chancellor plan a budget that will tax bingo, nightclubs and gambling out of existence but, before its presentation, a young woman suddenly appears and it is revealed both of them may be her father.

Intent on removing most of her clothes in his office, the woman’s dress ends up on the PM’s wife – and, in another parenting disclosure, the Parliamentary Secretary might actually be the PM’s son.

“I enjoyed the TV series Yes Minister immensely and when I came across the script for Pardon Me, Prime Minister I came to the conclusion that, although there were similarities, this was so much funnier because of its improbable situations,” Petersen said.

“We all know parliamentarians can be boring and have a lack of humour in performing their duties but this play takes them on a journey of revelations about their younger lives and facts they would prefer not to be revealed.”

Starting out with a revue company in 1956, Petersen performed at his His Majesty’s Theatre in Oklahama before appearing with Bobby Limb and Dawn Lake in their Tonight at Eight shows in the late ’50s.

He joined Garrick Theatre in 1976 and has been involved as an actor, director, writer and set builder on a variety of productions over the past 37 years, also directing plays at Marloo Theatre and acting at Limelight and Melville Theatres.

Peterson has received Garrick’s best play award four times and was named best director for Cash On Delivery at the annual Finley Awards. 

“Every show presents its own challenges but with Pardon Me, Prime Minister the main ones are pace, timing and ensuring each situation stands alone while still weaving together overall,” he said.

Pardon Me, Prime Minister plays at 8pm, November 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, December 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14 with 2pm matinees November 24 and December 8.

Tickets are $18, $16 concession – book on (08) 9378 1990 or [email protected]

Garrick Theatre is at 16 Meadow Street, Guildford, opposite the Stirling Arms Hotel and Guildford Town Hall.


pmpm1-2: Alan Morris plays the UK Prime Minister in Pardon Me, Prime Minister at Garrick Theatre with Carly Ranger as Shirley Springer.

pmpm3: Steve Moloney is Parliamentary Secretary Rodney Campbell in Pardon Me, Prime Minister at Garrick Theatre with Carly Ranger, left, as Shirley Springer, Jennifer Bowman as Jane Rotherbrook and Amber Moore as Miss Frobisher.

pmpm4.jpg: Vicki Bellingham, left, is Sybil Venables in Pardon Me, Prime Minister with Ray Egan as Chancellor Hector Cramond and Marsha Holt as Dora Springer.

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Garrick Theatre

Garrick Theatre is situated in the heritage town of Guildford, Western Australia. The club was named after the famous English actor and dramatist, David Garrick. Founded in 1932, Garrick is the longest-running community theatre in the Perth metropolitan area.

On April 16, 1932, Mrs W Dancer and a few friends met at "Riversleigh" where it was decided to form a repertory club. On May 13, 1932, Garrick Theatre Club was born. This group gathered regularly at "Riversleigh" until more permanent premises were obtained at the Mechanic's Institute in Guildford.

Later, the move to the club's present home in Meadow Street was made possible with the assistance of the local council, whose interest in Garrick's aims and activites has never waned. This home was constructed in the early days of the Swan River Colony and served initially as quarters for the Commissariat. The building is heritage-listed. Various renovations and additions have taken place over the decades - perhaps most notably a new stage with revolve in the 1990s.
Over more than eight decades, Garrick Theatre has brought to the community a wide variety of entertainment. In its turn, it has received many awards and today is one of the most respected community theatre groups in the State. The club is run entirely by members on a voluntary basis.

Fred Petersen
P: 0438 927 393


Pardon Me Prime Minister farce saucy comedy play theatre stage performance politics Two Ronnies Dr Finlay’s Casebook Morecambe and Wise Yes Minister Garrick Theatre Guildford City of Swan Perth WA Western Australia what's on events nightlife things to do



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