“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” follows the story of six eclectic spellers as they vie for the title of champion of the Putman County Spelling Bee. Sweet and shy Olive, with her absent parents, arrives alone with only her dictionary for a friend. Bizarre and bold William Barfee hopes that his “magic foot” will help him to win after his tragic loss last year. Former champion Chip Tolentino struggles with his burgeoning puberty and the effect it will have on his perfection. Politically aware Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre only wants to please her gay dads. Overachieving Marcy Parke is dissatisfied by how easy success comes to her and homeschooled Leaf Coneybear believes he is a dumb kid, as he is constantly told by his smarter siblings.
These zany spellers are watched over by Rona Lisa Peretti, who loves the spelling bee more than anything, having won the 3rd annual bee; Vice Principle Douglas Panch, the irritable and child-hating word announcer who yearns for the love of Rona; and Michelle Mahoney, the comfort counselor, who seems to be the only one who understands the triviality of the spelling bee in the grand scheme of life.
While sharing heartfelt and humorous tidbits from their home life, the contestants navigate through the competition, spelling (potentially made-up) words praying that they never hear the ‘ding’ of the bitter, demeaning bell that marks their failure. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! Well, at least the losers get a juice box. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee causes audiences to fall in love with both the show and the cast of sagacious, facetious, and copacetic spellers.
Directed by Cardiff University’s Margaret Graham, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” presented by Act One promises to be hilarious from start to finish and will run from 8th to 11th March 2016 in the Cardiff Medical Centre Sports and Social Club, doors opening at 7pm. Tickets are £8 general and £7 student and are available from http://buytickets.at/actone1/46450 or Cardiff University Students Union website.