Case Report The Suspects Mug Shots

Performed at Oldham’s Grange Arts Centre on Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th May 2004, The Man With The Incredibly Strong Lips is an hilarious noir comedy in which hard-boiled private detective Andrew Bastain is hired by the beautiful and mysterious Julia Honeypie to find the famous Hapsburg Diamonds, throwing him into a criminal underworld populated by sadistic gang bosses, relentless killers and sweaty taxidermists.

Bastain must keep his cool and confront the ghosts of his past in order to find out who stole the diamonds and who killed the hamster, in a case that would baffle Mitchum and have Bogart reaching for the scotch.

Origins of the Production

The evolution of "The Man With The Incredibly Strong Lips" is as convoluted as its plot. Starting as a short story from the pen of Mark Distin, the title being his only memory from a New Year's eve party way back in 1998, it was the subject of a “review” in the film parody sketch play "Dave and Jeff Versus The Evil Blood Sucking Zombie Clowns From The Nth Dimension" in the January of 2003.

From the inspired scenes featured in the script and a tagline from the mock poster created by Marleen Lowe, a vague story was presented to Mark by Stephen Michael Lowe and the pair of them locked themselves in a room with only a computer and a well-stocked wine cellar for company until the finished article was completed.

Gathering together the cream of Oldham's theatrical talent, Stephen and Mark (director and producer respectively) set about bringing their unique comic homage to film noir to life. KOBAL stalwarts Kevan Hardman, Paul Bowles, James Kilgour and Alison Chadwick were joined by consummate performers Matt O’Neill, Sharlene Bardsley and Adam Perrott in a trail of intrigue, deception, passion, and of course comedy.

‘Frisco City Journal

It soon became apparent that there was such a wealth of background information about the story and characters that it would be foolish, nay selfish, not to provide the audience with the details. Hence the creation of the ‘Frisco City Journal, a tabloid newspaper of the time, which reported key events to Joe Public. Click on a date to see the Journal. (Appears in a pop-up window.)

November 7th, 1946
Hapsburg Diamonds Stolen

November 19th, 1946
Silent Cop Kicked Off Force

March 23rd 1947
Mesmeri Emerges as New Boss of Southside

October 26th 1949
Eduardo Vannin Dead


All images and text © 2006 KOBAL Theatre Company