Belfast Telegraph

'Michelle and Arlene' hit the road for another comedy adventure on Belfast stage

By David Young

Mrs O'Neill and Mrs Foster may have left the Stormont stage - but will be back for three nights at a Belfast theatre.

After the sellout success of her summer smash Michelle And Arlene, the unlikely road movie heroines return next month in a new farce penned by award-winning author Rosemary Jenkinson.

Mary Frances Doherty and Maria Connelly reprise their roles as the political leaders for Planes, Trains And Tractors.

The play opens on December 7 - and that's a deadline that will definitely be met, Rosemary said last night.

"This is really happening. It's not one of those James Brokenshire-style deadlines," she giggled.

Inspired by the 1987 comedy movie Planes, Trains And Automobiles starring John Candy and Steve Martin, Planes, Trains And Tractors continues the road trip theme.

"They've had so many negotiations at Stormont I think I'm entitled to have another go too," added the writer.

This time the action takes our heroines far from their Stormont comfort zone into Eastern Europe, where things go badly wrong for the pair, who get into a number of scrapes as they struggle to get home to announce their new political deal just in time for Christmas.

And in the great tradition of farce, trouser-dropping moments are likely, the playwright said, as she revealed she'd created a big part for a Bulgarian truck driver called Boris.

Although there hasn't been a call from Hollywood yet, Rosemary said she thought the Michelle and Arlene double act would be perfect for the small screen.

"I'd love to make a TV version of Michelle And Arlene," she added. "It could be a long running series."

Accidental Theatre will also be staging another political drama, this time focused on US President Donald Trump.

All The Best Words by Shannon Yee runs from November 23-25 (8pm) at the Accidental Theatre in Shaftesbury Square.

All The Best Words poster

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