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In this the first show produced exclusively by Truelove Tours, Manly returned for another deliciously outrageous comedy of bitterness, recriminations, and non-stop lies! Our irrevocably intoxicated hero recounted the full, unexpurgated, and more than likely libellous tale of his notorious Mother, Hermione Truelove: Dame of the British Theatre, Pillar of the Establishment and International Revolutionary Communist. It’s all here: from her early days treading the boards, through her involvement in the Cuban Revolution, to her fateful journey to a Dallas Book Depository in November 1963…
This is a show of two halves, shifting perspectives and downright whoppers, in which Manly’s deeply biased recollections of his mother are starkly juxtaposed with the old trooper’s own version of events. The play premiered in Ipswich as part of the New Wolsey Theatre’s 2004 Pulse Festival before going on a tour which took in Truelove’s Tours spiritual home; The Colchester Arts Centre, in addition to various new venues, including Luton’s Library Theatre and The Lakeside Theatre at the University of Essex. Check out our Reviews pages.
Written and Performed by Darren Gooding, this surreal one man show premiered in 2001 at Colchester Arts Centre and was produced by The Predictable Pig Theatre Co. It introduced audiences to the disreputable comic character of Manly Truelove who took them on a whistle-stop tour of his twisted and often utterly unbelievable theatrical world... Over a few tiny drinkies, (well, quite a few to be honest), Manly attempted to unravel many baffling theatrical tales including the stratospheric rise and subsequent Icarus-like fall of the once great, now forgotten, (and of course entirely fictitious) 1960’s matinee idol, Sir Thrigby Tree-Frog.
The show toured East Anglia in 2002, taking in more traditional theatre spaces such as The Sheringham Little Theatre, The Sudbury Quay Theatre, and The Maltings Arts Theatre in St. Albans, alongside less conventional spaces including the Act One Bar, The Probus Club at Colchester Barracks and Hylands House.
The show’s first tour culminated in a month long run at the Gilded Balloon during the 2002 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. See our Reviews page for more details.
In 2000, whilst freelancing as Arts Correspondent for the Essex County Standard newspaper, Colchester based writer/performer Darren Gooding began devising the comedy character of actor, critic and raconteur Manly S. Truelove. “Manly” finally burst onto the East Anglian Arts Scene in July 2001 in a full length one man stage show entitled Manly Truelove’s Theatrical Anecdotes.
Initially produced with the Colchester-based Predictable Pig Theatre Company, the show was directed by Damien Bell and premiered at Colchester Arts Centre after which it enjoyed a successful regional tour, prior to being taken to the 2002 Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it undertook a month’s run at the Gilded Balloon.
Manly’s success in Edinburgh led to further regional theatre bookings and two years of Darren writing a regular, (and increasingly subversive) back page for “East Life” magazine in the literary persona of the devious old soak.
In 2004 the Predictable Pig Theatre Company disbanded and the core writer/performers went separate ways. Darren went solo; re-launching Manly’s stage career under the umbrella of Truelove Tours with the production of a second original stage play entitled Remembering Dame Hermione which toured East Anglia in 2004 and into 2005, by which time Manly Truelove was rapidly becoming a slyly subversive part of the regional arts scene.
After four years rest the character of ‘Manly’ returned in a feature length film comedy, adapted from his successful Edinburgh stage show. Produced and directed by Darren Gooding “As I Remember Thrigby” was shot in HDV over the course of 2008/2009, in a variety of East Anglian locations. The film received its initial Preview Screening on Saturday March 28th 2009 at Colchester Arts Centre; more screenings followed including a London Premiere at BAFTA on 28th of April 2010. For further information about this endeavour check out our Electric Pictures page.