The Really Small Theatre Company in association with Versatile Idea Oy proudly present:

Greater Tuna by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard.

Directed by and featuring Christian Jull and Daniel McMullen.

Produced by Joan Nordlund.


2, 3, 4, 5 December 2014 at 19:00
6, 7 December at 17.00
at Tanssiteatteri Hurjaruuth


What do Arles Struvie, Thurston Wheelis, Aunt Pearl, Petey Fisk, Phinas Blye and Reverend Spikes have in common? In this hilarious send-up of small town morals and mores, they are all among the upstanding citizens of Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas. It's a place where books like Huckleberry Finn and Romeo and Juliet are too smutty for the library shelves and the Lion's Club is too liberal. 

Christian Jull and Daniel McMullen play all 20 characters, including both men and women.

Greater Tuna was originally produced in 1981 in Austin, Texas, by its authors, Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard. One year after its premier, Greater Tuna opened Off-Broadway, ran for over a year and went on to tour major theatres all over America and spots overseas for the next thirty some years, and became one of the most frequently performed plays in American theatre history.


"Greater Tuna" is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Greater Tuna

Greater Tuna Team

Rather than give the usual brief and boring actors' histories, we've given the directors and producer fun mini-interviews to find information you wouldn't usually read!


Christian JullFirst time on stage:
It was at a Brisbane primary school in 1980: an Indonesian children's folk play where I played one of three wise village elders. Thinking back, it must have been this that gave me the initial bug to show-off and make a fool of myself. My parents may disagree though....

First television appearance:
I was interviewed for some TV documentary in Brisbane around 1975.

First film appearance:
A footman in The Madness of King George, directed by Nicholas Hytner.

First directorial experience: 
No Sex Please, We're British
, by Alistair Foot and Anthony Marriott (Witney Dramatic Society, 1990).

Favourite acting experience:
Difficult. Hmmm. Perhaps Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls. It was such a fun show, and Nicely has some fantastic songs and great comic scenes. The actor playing Benny (the other half of the comic duo) was great. We would psych each other up before the first entrance each night and push the boundaries. He went on to be a pro.

Performance most proud of:Barnum
There are two clear ones in my head. P.T. Barnum in Barnum and Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. Both had their own completely different challenges. Very taxing preparation, very difficult roles and, in one instance, overcoming personal fears. My Fair Lady was also doubly special because our much beloved stage manager suffered a burst heart aneurysm and died in the middle of a rehearsal. The entire cast was bound together to make the show a bigger success in his memory. The Woman in Black deserves a mention for testing my will-power against Multiple Personality Disorder! This will be tested further for Greater Tuna...

First role in Britain:
The Spirit of Christmas Present, A Christmas Carol.

First role in Finland:
Azolan in Les Liaison Dangereuses.

Most embarrassing moment:
Working as stage crew for South Horrific...sorry...Pacific in Salisbury. Setting the beach hut in the middle of the stage for the intimate love scene between Liat and Cable. Two of us where placing stage weights on the movable hut, stood, looked through the hut's windows and saw that the stage manager had started opening the curtains! We both ducked back down behind the hut and looked for an exit route. Unfortunately, the hut was completely isolated in the middle of the stage! We had to wait out the entire 'intimate love scene' crouched behind that damned hut! The longest scene in musical history....

Most memorable celebrity moment:
Working in the same scenes as Nigel Hawthorn, Helen Mirren, Rupert Everett, Geoffrey Palmer, Ian Holm, Rupert Graves, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Amanda Donohoe during The Madness of King George. This was accompanied by a wonderful moment discussing dim sums with Rupert Everett in the catering bus.

Largest live audience:
60000 at the opening ceremony of the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Plus however many watched it on TV... It's on YouTube somewhere. I'm the one in blue with a blue hat.

Guys & DollsOther crazy stuff: 
Throughout my acting life, I have played: a Munchkin, a wolf (big, bad variety), a rat, several army officers, a naval admiral, an RAF officer, a prime minister, a president, a lord, a pirate, a king, Jesus, a god, and Jack the Ripper. I died when the Titanic sank, but also gave evidence at the inquest into its sinking.

I have lived in Australia for eleven years, Britain for thirty-one years and Finland for four. Do the maths and you'll have another answer.

Professionally, as well as doing freelance acting and voice-over work, I also create web sites.

I'm a Whovian and proud of it!

I own and run a car-owners club and forum for the Nissan Silvia (S15).

I can walk tight-wire, do Spanish web, and juggle. Well, I could walk tight-wire. My centre of gravity may have changed in the past ten years...

I hosted karaoke for a time in the 1990s.


Daniel McMullenFirst time on stage:
I cannot exactly remember the very first time, but it would have to be in Elementary School doing skits in the annual Talent Show at Garrett Park Elementary. I remember in the 2nd grade my friend and I auditioned with a tap dance we made up on the spot and managed to secure a spot in the show. After a few weeks of practice (and some help from our teacher and parents) we were able to put together a dance routine that had 'em screaming for more – or at least that's how I remember it. It's true, my mom says!

My first "theater" (multi-purpose room – but hey it had a stage and lights!) performance was in the 3rd or 4th grade in a production of A Christmas Carol at the church my family attended. I was Ebenezer Scrooge. They didn't trust us with the lines so they had older kids with the script in hand to read our lines at a microphone. I took this personally and learned the lines anyway so that I could mouth them perfectly with my reader

Favourite acting experience:
Many to choose from. One that sticks out is Ellard Simms in The Foreigner by Larry Shue. It was in college and had a two week run to full houses. That production just hit at the right time for an audience and for that cast. We were all close and pulled together through some adversity. The actress who played the lead Catherine Simms was injured during the run – not life threatening, but enough to keep her out of two performances. Her understudy, who was also our Stage Manager, performed as Catherine with script in hand – a practice which is not unheard of in the theater. The show must go on! Even the reviews from the papers were favorable!

Performance most proud of:
Difficult, but I would say The Woman in Black would be right at the top. Having been involved with that project from the very beginning a year previous and working with a fantastic team who brought that production to life. I feel we rose to meet the many challenges production-wise and on stage to put on a damn fine show!

Most embarrassing moment:
As a member of the crew – sound familiar? In college, I was running the flies from the gallery. Definition: A fly system or theatrical rigging system, is a system of ropes, pulleys, counterweights and related devices within a theater that enables a stage crew to quickly, quietly and safely fly (hoist) components such as curtains, lights, scenery, stage effects. Get that? Ok. On opening night of the Spring Dance Concert, all was ready and I was standing by on the main curtain. The Stage Manager went through the normal checks that all was ready and communicated with the crew via headsets. I heard, "Light cue 1 up and house lights to half, main drape standby." There was a pause and I heard a "go." I thought it was my "go" so I began to raise the main curtain as the house lights were only starting to dim to half. All of a sudden I hear the Stage Manager, say rather curtly, "Daniel, what the hell are you doing?" At that very moment I realized what I was doing and in a panic stopped doing anything with the curtain about half way up. I held it there until the house lights went down completely and then continued to raise the curtain. I was forgiven completely by my fellow crew and the dancers who were on the stage. Oh well. Did I mention that this went out live on local TV? And that it was also recorded for future broadcast at the time? I love those special moments that you can relive time and time again!

Largest live audience:
509. That was a sell-out at the theater in college.

Memorable Celebrity Moment:
Sneaking back stage at Bethesda Chevy Chase High school in 1984 to meet and talk to drumming legend Buddy Rich. I was so surprised at how nice he was to me even though I had no business being back stage.

Other crazy stuff:
I have lived in Finland for over 12 years.

Born in a small town, but grew up in the Capital of "the Colonies" as Christian puts it.

At the tender age of 5, witnessed the return of Yul Brynner to the stage in the Odyssey – also known as Home Sweet Homer - probably where I first got the "theater bug." It was a flop, but I remember the Cyclops vividly!

Was almost a "principle extra" (not sure what they meant by that) in Forrest Gump, but had a Linear Algebra exam that day which I couldn't get out of. In hindsight that Professor did me a favor!

Demonstrated various benefits of a walking sleeping bag on Finnish TV. Blink and you missed it!


Joan NordlundFirst job in amateur dramatics:
Rattling the thunder-sheet backstage.

First appearance on stage:
In the chorus of The Mikado at university.

First acting role:
Edith in Noel Coward's Blythe Spirit (Pilkington Players).

Interesting theatrical fact:
I worked lights at the Webber Douglas theatre for the Kensington Drama Club: the box was tiny and the only way of achieving a blackout was to bring down each lever manually with arms, legs and anything else at hand.

First attempt at directing:
John Osborne's Look back in Anger for KDC.

gallery thumbnail

First show with The Finn-Brit Players:
Confusions (Alan Ayckbourne) in 1981, acting in Mother Figure and directing Drinking Companion.

First radio role:
Louhi, the gap-toothed crone in Kalevala (YLE World Service).

Best directorial experience:
Harold Pinter's Moonlight (F-B Players, 2009).

Favourite show:
It would take too long to list the contenders for my favourite show.

Most embarrassing moment:
My most embarrassing moment was in a performance of John Mortimer's A Voyage Round My Father at the LAMDA theatre. As SM I called the tech cues. During one scene change I was standing with my back to the audience, behind a black curtain, making sure that the courtroom scene was properly set. I became aware of lights coming up and the curtain being opened... The director said afterwards: "For heaven's sake, if that happens again don't stare into the lights like a startled rabbit"! I never found out who gave the cue.

gallery thumbnail Other crazy stuff:
My mother gave birth to me in the bar of Lindrick Golf Club (a nursing home at the time), just on the right side of the Yorks-Notts border.

I know what it's like to be down and out and living in Paris.

My first celebrity moment: rubbing shoulders with John Cleese when he was making management-training films: his stereotype interviewers Ivan the Terrible, Ethelred the Unready and Stephen the Silent remain memorable.

Someone addressed a letter to 'Joan Guest, Hammersmith Broad, London W 6'. It reached me at BOC Ltd!

A woman in a man's world, I have negotiated wage deals with engineering unions and settled a lorry-drivers' strike.

My biggest live audience: over 300 at a plenary lecture in Barcelona, simultaneously translated into Spanish, Catalan and Galician.

Greater Tuna Gallery

Greater Tuna Audience Quotes


Wow! We had a fantastic afternoon with you all. We really enjoyed your production. The acting was excellent and both the actors have great comic abilities. We laughed all the way through. Congratulations to all concerned both front and backstage. I really hope you all decide to put on the rest of the plays in the series.|
Four ovations from the audience! Congratulations to the cast and crew for an over-the-top performance tonight. This "Tuna" thing could become habit forming!|
Thank you for the superb performance on Wednesday! The characters were so different and you performed them really well. And I have to give credit also to catering: the blueberry cheesecake was wonderful!|
Thank you guys for a wonderful evening! Really impressive!|
A truly enjoyable experience!! Great work, all of you!|
Great play, and superb performances! Well done, and those who haven't got there yet, get there!|
Fantastic play! Loved it!|
How can such tragic stories be so funny!? Thanks for a WONDERFUL performance!|
Great play ...excellent acting! THANK YOU!!|
Thanks for the show... [We] really enjoyed it. Fine performances.|

About Us

The Really Small Theatre Company was formed in Helsinki in 2005 with a view to staging small-scale, high-quality independent productions in a variety of venues. In January 2015, we became a registered association (rekisteröity yhdistys).

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