STiFF: fight over a parlour in Rockingham production

Sam Taylor (Delilah), Beryl Francis (Mrs Beaton), Cherry Allen (Sherry), Kirstie Francis (Angel Delight), Sue Murray (Roxanne) in STiFF. Picture: Peter Francis
Sam Taylor (Delilah), Beryl Francis (Mrs Beaton), Cherry Allen (Sherry), Kirstie Francis (Angel Delight), Sue Murray (Roxanne) in STiFF. Picture: Peter Francis

“What on earth am I supposed to do with a funeral parlour?” Angel Delight (Kirstie Francis) shouts as the play STiFF starts at Rockingham Theatre.

Angel, a young escort worker, has just been told that her father left her the parlour in his will.

“I didn’t even know him,” she said.

“I was raised in an orphanage, I thought my parents had mislaid me.”

Robert Swipe (Tom Rees) is also angry. He has worked for the company for more than 25 years.

He thought he would inherit the parlour when the owner died. Instead, all he got was a pair of knives and a voucher for a cheap pine coffin with Taiwanese brass handles.

Robert threatens Angel that he will do all he can to take over the business and get her out.

Having been told she cannot sell the business for five years, Angel gathers her friends and they work out a plan to operate the Funeral Business and an Escort Agency together.

Joining her in this venture to put the ‘fun back into funeral’ is Roxanne (Sue Murray) a dominatrix, Sherry (Cherry Allen) the original dumb blonde and Delilah (Sam Taylor) an obsessive compulsive cleaning transvestite.

The solicitor (Ian Butcher) warns Angel that if she does not keep the funeral parlour working for the five years specified, the business will be passed on to Swipe, the former employee.

When a disaster occurs, the girls feel they have to go ahead and arrange a funeral, with all that it entails, to satisfy Mrs Beaton (Beryl Francis), the deceased man’s wife.

This is an attempt to beat Swipe’s devious efforts to get the business closed down.

Helping to put some solemnity into the proceedings is the music group PF Hooker and the Tarts who serenade the audience in between scenes with such classics as Brown Girl in the Ring and Down by the Riverside.

PF Hooker and the Tarts feature Lorraine Howes, Jackie Gahan, Sue Eccles-Smith, Billie McDonald Foster, Kathy Doherty, Ian Spencer, Danny Joyce and Peter Francis on keyboard.

STiFF is an adult comedy written by New Zealand’s singer, actor and playwrite April Phillips.

STiFF is directed by Peter Francis, who advises that the play does contain adult themes, some strong language, some political incorrectness and sexual references.

WHEN: Friday, June 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 8pm. A matinee is on Sunday, June 18 at 2 pm
WHERE: Rockingham Theatre, 8 Attwood Way, Rockingham
TICKETS: or at Rockingham Visitors Centre.

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