MORE THAN A CHICKEN RANCH: Pictured are Miss Mona (Jacquie McCalman, right)) with her girls (from left) Bronte Walsh, Abby McCalman, Jacinta Hunter, Emma Buckman and Iesha Williams in rehearsals for the Ballina Players' production of the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
MORE THAN A CHICKEN RANCH: Pictured are Miss Mona (Jacquie McCalman, right)) with her girls (from left) Bronte Walsh, Abby McCalman, Jacinta Hunter, Emma Buckman and Iesha Williams in rehearsals for the Ballina Players' production of the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Contributed

House of ill repute set to open in Ballina next month

THE Ballina Players' Theatre will next month be transformed into the Chicken Ranch of ill repute as the theatre company performs the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

During the Depression when money was tight, the girls began accepting poultry as payment for services.

There were soon so many hens that the place got its new name, the Chicken Ranch.

All over Texas, everyone knew something other than poultry was being sold there.

The story of the Chicken Ranch is a key part of the action and issues in the musical as its very existence is challenged by a newcomer to town.

Things are pretty much as they have been for 58 years until Melvin P Thorpe, sensationalist TV crusader, sets out to spoil everyone's "fun".

On the death of the first owner, Miss Wulla Jean, the Chicken Ranch passed to Miss Mona and she continues with old traditions.

A strong character, Miss Mona dominates the musical with her strict standards, regulating every detail of her girls' working lives and earning their respect.

There is humour in the way the rules must be restated, almost chanted.

This is also related to her constant insistence on the respectability of the Chicken Ranch and its clientele and any activities that might take place there.

Jacquie McCalman returns to the role of the formidable Miss Mona 10 years after the previous Ballina Players production of Whorehouse.

Jacquie is excited to be revisiting her favourite role and delighted to have the opportunity.

In the film version of the musical, Miss Mona was played by Dolly Parton who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.

Bert Reynolds took the role of her friend Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd (played for Ballina Players by Rod Ramsay).

Written by Larry L King and Peter Masterson, and directed by at the Ballina Players by Paul Belsham, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas will be staged at the Players Theatre from November 18 to December 4, Thursdays to Saturdays 8pm, Sundays 2pm.

Book online at ballinaplayers.com.au or by phoning 02 6686 6566 (a booking fee applies).



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