Merle is my mother, says Marc

Marc Lottering, who lives in Camps Bay, plays the lead role in Aunty Merle, The Musical.

If you’re a fan of musical comedies, then you’ll be thrilled to know that due to popular demand, Aunty Merle, The Musical has returned to the Baxter Theatre for a third season.

In the lead role is Camps Bay resident Marc Lottering who brings to life Aunty Merle Abrahams from Belgravia Road in Athlone Marc says the play was a dream come true as he wrote it 20 years ago.

In the musical, Aunty Merle’s daughter Abigail (Tracey-Lee Oliver) is getting married and it’s a big deal in Athlone because the fiancé is Alan (Paul du Toit), a white man from Bantry Bay.

“This wedding needs to happen and both families need to come together, but the family in Bantry Bay just want a maximum of 120 wedding guests and Aunty Merle tells them that’s just the catering staff, she’s planning to have more than 600 guests for this wedding,” says Marc.

He says preparing for the role was a walk in the park because everyone has an Aunty Merle in their life. For him, Aunty Merle was his mother.

“I wrote the character many years ago and it is very close to me because I took it from my mother and the things she used to say when gossiping with her friends.”

Marc says he loves everything about playing this character.

“She’s a typical South African, she says a lot of things that we only say behind close doors to our close friends; she has no filter and the only thing that protects her is that it all comes from a space of love.”

He says given the country’s troubled past, this show brings people together under the banner of music and comedy.

The audience will leave feeling love and warmth.

“The show has a special quality not only on stage, but off stage as well. There’s such beauty off-stage, that the energy is channelled on stage and people leave happy and feel so much love and joy.”

Marc says if he died today or tomorrow, it would be with no regrets because he feels like he is doing what he’s supposed to do.

He says he feels privileged to be able to follow his passion and make a career out of it.

Marc says he was a late bloomer and only started to do comedies at the age of 30.

Touching on some of the lessons that he’s learnt in the industry, he says one can’t rely on other people to believe in their dreams.

“Quite often when you start out and share your vision with people, sometimes people won’t be as excited as you are because it’s your vision. Success is truly a lonely road and you have to have that faith and belief in yourself.”

Marc says he draws his inspiration from people. He watches them and observes everything around him.

“I’m very good at lip reading and two nights ago I saw a couple have a disagreement at a restaurant, the lady was angry because she never knows the boyfriend’s whereabouts on weekends. I was in that conversation and imagined what the story was about, the guy’s body language showed that he was up to no good and I always take such stories to the stage.”

Marc enjoys telling stories which people can actually relate to.

Aunty Merle, The Musical has received Fleur Du Cap Theatre Nominations.

Directed by Lara Foot, it includes a live band.

In the plot, Abigail’s twisted and corrupt ex, Denver Paulse (Loukmaan Adams), who holds a dodgy top job with the SABC, is determined to get her back. If not, he threatens to reveal a very dark secret which is bound to tear the lovers apart.

Performances are Monday to Friday at 7.30pm and Saturdays at 2pm and 7.30pm. On New Year’s Eve, Monday December 31, the show is at 8.30pm.

Ticket prices range from R100 to R195. Book though Webtickets, Pick * Pay stores or the Baxter Box Office on 021 685 7880, Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 8pm.

For discounted block bookings, charities, corporate bookings and fundraisers call the Baxter Sales department on 021 680 3962 or 021 680 3993.