THS presents the dark comedy ‘Bull in a China Shop’

A group of little old ladies serve up a poisoned cup of tea so they can meet the handsome new police detective, O’Finn (Noah Cox, center). The ladies are, from left, Birdie (Mary Ellen Cobb), Hildegarde (Victoria Wise), Amantha (Morgan Southworth), Lucy (Kaitlin Flowers), and, sitting, Nettie (Katelyn Stieg).

A group of little old ladies serve up a poisoned cup on tea so they can meet the handsome new police detective, O’Finn (Noah Cox, center). The ladies are, from left, Birdie (Mary Ellen Cobb), Hildegarde (Victoria Wise), Amantha (Morgan Southworth),
Lucy (Kaitlin Flowers), and, sitting, Nettie (Katelyn Stieg). (Adam Robinson photo)

BY SHEENA BARNETT/Daily Journal

TUPELO – Beneath the gray hair and glasses lies something sinister in the ladies of “Bull in a China Shop.”

The dark comedy, produced by Tupelo High School Theatre Company, focuses on a house full of little old ladies who serve up a deadly cup of tea.

“They’re spying on the handsome, young detective,” said director Allana Austin. “They need a lady-like way to meet him, so they think, OK, if he was a plumber we could break the sink. But the lights go out, and one of their members is dead, and he has to investigate.”

The ladies swoon over detective O’Finn, played by Noah Cox.

“He isn’t very smart, but he likes to think he’s all that,” Cox said. “He’s more of a pretty face.”

Austin picked “Bull” to start off the year to show off the talented young actresses at the high school.

“It has so many great women parts, and we have so many women character actors I knew would embrace these roles,” she said.

Mary Ellen Cobb stars as Birdie, one of the little old ladies.

“She’s the cheerleader who never grew up,” Cobb said. “She still has a teenage girl in her. She’s the sketchiest grandma you’ll ever meet.”

Complicating matters is Jane (Mary Clair Kelly), a pretty, young reporter who’s out to get the story at any cost – and she quickly becomes a target for the ladies.

“She’s very aggressive and quite mean. She gets up in the old ladies’ faces,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s used to playing a villain.

“I always get cast as the mean girl,” she said, “but I like to play roles opposite me.”

The actors say “Bull in a China Shop” is a murder mystery, but a funny one.

“It’s a little bit of a twist on the murder mystery,” Cox said. “It’s very funny.”

“Bull in a China Shop” cast: Victoria Wise (Hildegarde); Kaitlin Flowers (Lucy); Morgan Southworth (Amantha); Mary Ellen Cobb (Birdie); Morgan Mahin (Elizabeth); Katelyn Stieg (Nettie); Noah Cox (O’Finn); Charlie Davis (Kramer); Mary Clair Kelly (Jane); Christian Bean (Johnson); Colm McCool (Morgue Attendant)

sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

Check It Out

WHAT: Tupelo High School Theatre Company presents “Bull in a China Shop”

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight-Saturday

WHERE: THS Fine Arts Auditorium

COST: $5

INFO: (662) 841-8970