It’s April 2013. Funny man Jack Lemmon and the incomparable Marilyn Monroe are reunited with Hollywood heart-throb Tony Curtis. But where exactly are they and what is going on?
Find out when Richard Hurford’s Some Like It Hotter plays Worthing’s Connaught Theatre this week (Thursday to Saturday, July 18-20). Also showing up will be Curtis’ and Monroe’s Some Like It Hot co-star Jack Lemmon.
“The idea is basically a celebration of Some Like It Hot because it was such a classic movie,” explains Patrick Bridgman, who plays Charlie.
“The original idea came from the Watermill Theatre in Newbury which has got a really strong tradition of promoting classical musicals.
“But they didn’t want to do the full version of Some Like It Hot.
“They wanted a fresh take, so they asked a writer to see what he could do with it.
“He tried various ideas around various scenarios that involved the main characters, and Some Like It Hotter is what he came up with.
“It takes place in an after-life limbo-type situation. My character Charlie arrives there to find Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and eventually Marilyn Monroe.
“It is clear that Charlie was a big fan of Some Like It Hot, and they are there to provide the Some Like It Hotter experience for people that were particular fans on the other side of life as a little reward before they go off to heaven.
“Charlie doesn’t know where he is when he arrives, but within a few minutes he realises he is getting the Some Like It Hotter memorial experience!”
As for the main characters, it’s a mixture really, Patrick says, as to whether they are expected to provide impersonations: “I don’t think the intention was ever to do absolutely-faithful reproductions of these characters, but the Marilyn character obviously does need to be as Marilyn as possible.
“Sarah Applewood is a fantastically-talented performer and does Marilyn extremely well.
“She looks the part and sounds the part and sings beautifully anyway and plays various instruments.
“For Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, they don’t have to be such faithful interpretations.
“They just have to get a particular flavour of the dynamic between Jack and Tony in that particular film.”
For Patrick, the part was just something that came up: “It was a show that needed actor-musicians. I happened to fit the bill.
“I was the right age, and I have been playing the piano since the age of four and can sing perfectly well.
“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“We opened in Eastbourne in May, and we have been touring since then. But it was originally done at the end of 2011.
“We started off in a village hall in rural Berkshire and did venues like that in the first version.
“That was the production as far as the Watermill were concerned, but it was such a success on that scale that one of the producers from Fresh Glory Productions saw it at the end of that run and decided that it was a suitable project for them to take on.
“It has now been upscaled in terms of venues and a couple of extra characters have been added.
“There is an immense sense of fun. People that have seen the film will get the references quicker, but people that don’t know the film still have a great time.
“There are a lot of cheap gags and a lot of good healthy sexual innuendo!”
Also plays Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Monday-Saturday July 22-27.