HISTORY OF THE ROYAL BRITISH COMEDY THEATRE:
RBCT was established in 2014 with the mission of staging the classics of British comic films, TV shows and stage plays (and works by Jacqueline Susann and Jackie Collins) with American actors using their Received Pronunciation BBC broadcaster dialect learnt in American college actor classes and honed in Green Rooms throughout the colonies.
Fall 2014: RBCT staged the six episodes of Season One that include: Fashion, Fat, France, ISO Tank, Birthday and Menopause. Venue: StageWerx, San Francisco
Spring 2015: RBCT staged the six episodes of Season Two that include: Hospital, Death, Morocco, New Best Friends, Poor and Birth. Venue: The Exit Theatre, San Francisco
December 2015: RBCT staged the holiday episodes of ABFAB: Cold Turkey (Christmas) and Happy New Year. Venue: Club Oasis, San Francisco
Fall 2016: RBCT stages their 15
th and 16 th ABFAB episodes with “Sex” (Season 3, 1995) and “Small Opening” (Season 5, 2001)
AWARDS: 2016 BAY AREA REPORTER BESTIE for “Best Show in a Club”
ABFAB IN SF and ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS THE MOVIE:
Actors ZsaZsa Lufthansa (Christian Heppinstall) and Terry McLaughlin were chosen by Fox Searchlight to promote the new film from London because of their long portrayals of Patsy Stone and Edina Monsoon. June 2016 found them representing the film in the Pride Parades of Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco. July found them doing the same for two premiere screenings of the new film.
OUR COMPANY: THE CREW
Director: Christian Heppinstall
Costume Designer: Craig Marotzke
Technical Director: Brittany Mellorson
OUR COMPANY: THE CAST
Christian Heppinstall is back as Patsy Stone in 2016. A busy Bay Area actor he has recently been seen in 14 episodes of ABFAB, the 2016 Pride Parades of LA, SAC and SF representing the film along with Terry McLaughlin, Mojo Theatre’s Wolf in the Mission, Piedmont Players’ The Best Man, and club cabaret called ZsaZsa Lufthansa and Friends. He starred in NCT’s The Bombay Trunk, Bus Barn’s Private Eyes, and the Thrillpeddler-Cockettes’ collaboration Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma. From Alaska Heppinstall created a 13-part American sex satire entitled Midnight Soapscum, directed many musicals and Bardian plays, among them Cabaret, Hamlet, Seussical the Musical, and many more. He created touring theatre for high-schoolers throughout Alaska with Young Shakespeare (taking the Bard into schools) and The Inner Circle: Changing Times (taking a teen HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention message into schools). For his work in youth theater he was recognized by both Planned Parenthood and the Municipality of Anchorage.
Christian Heppinstall as Patsy Stone.
Terry McLaughlin as Edina.
Terry McLaughlin stars as Edina Monsoon in 2016. McLaughlin is a classically trained singer who hails from Chicago originally. He studied with esteemed professors from Northwestern, DePaul and Northern Illinois Universities. He performed in many roles in Chicagoland including Magaldi in Evita, Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf(Twice) in Into the Woods, Ernst in Cabaret and Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar. Moving to San Francisco 11 years ago, he joined SFGMC and sang with it for several years often as a featured soloist. He has performed several cabaret shows at Martuni’s. He played Pirelli in Ray of Light’s award winning production of Sweeney Todd. Two years ago, he began playing Edina Monsoon in RBCT’s stage adaptations of Absolutely Fabulous which won a BAR Bestie Award for Best Show in a Club. He and co-star Christain Heppenstall were also hired to promote AbFab: The Movie at events in Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco including the local premiere.
Dene Larson stars as Saffron Monsoon in 2016. Dene is excited and honoured to return to “Absolutely Fabulous.” He originated the role of Saffron Monsoon when it went from t.v. screen to stage just a few years ago. Dene was most recently seen in Dream on the Rocks’ production of “Barbarella: On Stage and in Space” at The Phoenix and in LCTC’s “San Francisco Here I Come” at The Exit Theatre. Denewishes to thank The Royal British Comedy Theatre for this fun opportunity, his family, and friends – specifically mum, Bird, and Kevin – for their continued support.
Raya Light stars as Bubble and Patsy 2 in 2016. Fresh from her run as Andrew Rapersoon/Bambi MD in “Showgirls! The Musical!”, Raya Light is back as Bubble and assorted characters for Absolutely Fabulous! Raya has been titillating drag and theater audiences since she burst from the Trannyshack womb in 2005. Notable theatrical excursions: The Wizard of Odd (Tin Tran), Bearbarella (Go-Girl), The Tenderloin Xmas Hustler (Crystal Miss), The Unbearable Lightness of Raya (writer/producer/actor), Halloween! The Ballad of Michele Meyers (writer/producer/actor). She’s not completely useless you know!!
Ginorma Desmond stars as Sarah and Edina 2 in 2016. Nick Leonard is a San Francisco comedian, writer and actor. Starting at the legendary Josie’s Juice Joint, he performs locally and internationally at such venues as Cobb’s, the Punchline, The Marsh Theater, The Herbst Theater, NYU, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Vancouver International Comedy Festival. He’s performed with Marga Gomez, Karen Ripley, Eric McCormack and many others. In 2016 he was voted “Best comedian (male)” by the Bay Area Reporter. He produces Qcomedy, San Francisco’s long running LGBTQ comedy showcase. He has been a performer, host, and co producer of the very successful Bi-licious Shows in the NQAF. He has performed with Bay Area Theatresports, The Peaches Christ Players, The House Of Glitter, Dojo Fabuloso and has taught sketch comedy writing and staging at the Hyena Comedy Institute. As his alter ego Ginorma Desmond, he is currently delighted to be working with the Royal British Comedy Theatre.
French Dog portrayed by Ginorma Desmond
Lisa Appleyard stars as Justin and Christopher in 2016. Lisa is thrilled to be back at the Exit in the cast of AbFab, after having played Gran, Lulu, and Justin (among others) in Season 2 . You may have seen Lisa in past productions at 42nd Street Moon where her credits include Lady Be Good (Josephine van der Water), Destry Rides Again (Dimples), COCO (Jeanine/Docaton), and Girl Crazy (Patsy). Or at the Hypnodrome in a Thrillpeddlers Production such as Hot Greeks, Marat/Sade, or Pearls Over Shanghai. Other favorite roles include Sheila in A Chorus Line, Frenchy in Cabaret, June in Chicago, Tess in Crazy for You and the title role in Gypsy. When she is not on stage, Lisa inhabits the role of Mom to Julian and Austin as well as Middle School Math Specialist at Park Day School.
Ryan Engstrom stars as Gran in 2016. Ryan’s recent Bay Area appearances include “Present Laughter” (Theatre Rhinoceros), “San Francisco, Here I Come” and “Screaming Queens” (Left Coast Theatre Company) and “Cinderella: A Family Holiday Musical Panto” (Pollinator Arts). Other favorite roles include Rod in “Avenue Q”, Jack in “Into the Woods”, and Emcee in “Cabaret”. He also has enjoyed singing with the wonderful Zsa Zsa Lufthansa & Friends. He also makes YouTube videos with his partner in crime, Enrique Dominguez. He has a BA in Drama from San Francisco State University.