Audiences across Atlantic Canada are in for a boatload of belly laughs over the coming week, as the renown musical comedy weaves its way through Moncton, Halifax, Pictou, Glace Bay and Charlottetown. Recently, AE check in with the show’s producer Janet Martin.
When and why did you first become interested in theatre?
I've been in theatre professionally for 35 years as an actor, and as a producer since 2014.
Are they the same reasons that you continue to be involved today?
I don't know how to do much else, and theatre really fulfills my soul. This way, I eat, sleep and breathe theatre. I believe in the power of live performance and always have.
What are the challenges of the vocation?
As an actor of a certain age, one must maintain the instrument, the body, voice, health etc. As a producer, it is risky - not for the faint of heart. Never go into this business (or any other) just for the money. There must be passion too.
What are the rewards?
The reward for us in Menopause The Musical is the laughter of the audience - it's non-stop. We feel like we do a type of therapy - getting people to share their feelings about ageing and laughing about a serious subject. All good.
Is your creative process more 'inspirational' or 'perspirational'?
For us, it's perspiration. The inspiration belonged to the author to whom we are indebted always.
What first inspired Menopause the Musical?
They say the show was written during a hot flash over a glass of wine by the author and her buddies.
How has the production evolved over the years?
It's a very tight show now as we all know each other so well, but the bare bones remain the same. In live theatre, every night is different but in subtle ways - perfecting a moment perhaps or getting an unexpected response from the crowd.
What can audiences here in Atlantic Canada expect to experience?
They will laugh throughout and enjoy a great night out with their friends. Hey, men love it too!! And they learn something about their partners too. Our show is 90 minutes of song and laughter. We perform parodies of hits of the 60's 70 and 80's brilliantly re-lyracised to reflect the symptoms of menopause. This is the original Canadian cast who have been together since 2006.
What are your thoughts on the current state of theatre in Canada?
They say that when times are tough, the theatre does well. That is very pertinent now with the mess of the world. People want to escape and laugh and experience art in many ways. We hope they will do so by seeing our show again and again. We do find that a lot of Canadian cities are struggling right now. It depends where we play.
How can that be improved?
Don't get me started.
What's next on your creative agenda?
Rumour has it there is a sequel in the works...that's all I'm saying!Photo: Centre; Nicole Robert ~ back from left to right; Janet Martin, Michelle White, Jayne Lewis ~ photographer - Seth Greenleaf