IF YOU thought you had the mother in law from hell you haven’t met the anti-heroine of Stafford Players’ forthcoming show.
The widowed Mrs Taggart dominates the lives of her three sons, who work for the construction company she manages which was set up by her late husband. And she is not afraid to put the boot in to their unfortunate partners either.
In The Anniversary her sons have some shocking surprises up their sleeves for her as the family comes together to celebrate her wedding anniversary. But Mrs Taggart is not afraid to use every despicable trick she can to keep them under her thumb.
The wicked woman is wickedly funny to watch in action – provided you are not on the receiving end of her acid tongue – production co-director Lyn Wojtulewicz explained.
She previously encountered The Anniversary several years ago through another theatre group. She said: “I played a young girl, and I liked The Anniversary because it was a black comedy, rather than a farce, and was funny.
“I always admired the part of Mother (Mrs Taggart), but wasn’t quite old enough to play her. I always fancied that part and thought I would play it when I’m older.
“I kept on at the Players to do the play and they said ‘we will if you direct it.’ I will have to find another way to play Mother in the future.
“We have had to do a lot of things directors wouldn’t normally have to do. Because it’s set in the 1960s, and I’m very much a person of attention to detail, I have been collecting stuff from all over the country to make the set look like the 1960s, such as furniture.
“We’re hoping, when it all comes together in two weeks’ time when the set is in, it’s going to look really authentic.”
Audiences can also expect to find themselves both laughing and cringing
into their seats as Mrs Taggart takes bad behaviour to another level.
“She says to Karen ‘do you mind moving, I find body odour offensive. She’s vile!,” Lyn said.
There was a film made of The Anniversary in the 1960s, in which Bette Davies played
Mother with an eye patch on.
“Bill MacIlwaith wrote the play. He’s not a well known playwright, but Sheila Hancock played both Karen the daughter-in-law and Mother in the stage production.
“If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.”
The Anniversary runs at the Gatehouse Theatre’s MET Studio from May 15 to 19 at 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £8.50 (with a three for two offer on the first night) or £7.50 concessions, and are available from the Gatehouse box office on 01785 254653.