See How They Run (May 17-26, 2018)

The final play of the season will be See How They Run by Philip King, which will run from May 13 to May 26, 2018. This classic English farce was first seen in 1940 and is constantly being revived, both professionally and with community theatre groups. In 2006, the British Theatre Guide wrote that “It remains arguably the funniest farce ever written.” Whilst I wouldn’t go to the stake for that, it is certainly a very funny play, with parts for 6 men and 3 women.

Galloping in and out of the four doors of an English country vicarage during World War II are an American actor and actress (he is now stationed with the air force in England), a cockney maid who has seen too many American movies, an old maid who “touches alcohol for the first time in her life,” four men dressed as clergy, presenting the problem of which is which (one of them is an escaped prisoner) and a sedate bishop aghast at all these goings on and the trumped up stories they tell him. “A period piece that has stood the test of time remarkably well… hilarious comic situations and misunderstandings…” ~ The Independent, 2008

An Italian Straw Hat (May 1-17, 2008)

A Musical Farce by Eugene Labiche and Marc-Michel translated by Lynn and Theodore Hoffmann

“Sight gags, clever word play, screwball comedy … and all embellished with song and dance!”

In this renowned comedy with songs in the French 19th century farcical vaudeville tradition, the hero, M. Fadinard, is about to get married when an attractive lady and her irate lover pop up. They announce that his horse has compromised her by eating her rare Italian straw showFive and that they will not leave the bridal chamber until Fadinard has produced an identical one. The mayhem that ensues – mistaken identities, characters hiding behind closed doors, and all the other devices of French farce – create an evening of unparalleled hilarity. And all embellished with song and dance!

A Flea In Her Ear (January 27 – February 12, 2005)

A Farce by George Feydeau, translated by John Mortimer

One of the funniest plays ever written!

Things begin to go awry when Victor Emmanuel Chandebise, a middle-class insurance salesman, becomes impotent, leading his wife, Raymonde, to assume that he has taken a mistress. To test his fidelity, she has her friend Lucille write an anonymous letter to Victor claiming to be infatuated with him and proposing a rendezvous at a notorious hotel. Thinking a mistake has been made, he sends his friend Tournel, a famous womanizer, to keep the appointment, after which the complications multiply uproariously! Things are somehow untangled and set right, but not until we have encountered several interesting characters all tumbled together in a medley of slamming doors, revolving beds, and wildly amiss gunshots – all of which leave audiences happily breathless from laughter!

She Stoops to Conquer (May 1-17, 2003)

A Farce by Oliver Goldsmith

“Witty . Charming! . Entertaining!”

A wonderful rollicking Restoration comedy! Eighteenth century England comes to life in this riotously funny comedy of manners. Two well-to-do young gentlemen, Marlow and Hastings, mistake the baronial country home of Squire Hardcastle for a roadside inn. As they meet the family so they treat them as employees of a common public house. The ensuing situations become hilarious. In retaliation, Kate, the beautiful and clever daughter of the house, disguises herself as a servant, and in so-doing becomes a true conqueror when she acquires a handsome and wealthy young husband.

Habeus Corpus (September 21 – October 7, 2000)

A Farce by Alan Bennett.

“A parade of wit” – New York Times.

“A marvellous freaky farce…rowdy and ribald” – NBC.

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From the pen of Alan Bennett, who last season gave us the brilliant The Madness of George III, comes this gorgeously vulgar farce that is a downright celebration of sex and the human body. In the home of lecherous Dr. Wicksteed, wild and wicked things go on in a Feydeau-style fashion. A mountainous wife, a celibate curate engaged to his flatchested spinster sister, a cantilevered sexpot, an inveterate hypochondriac and an arrogant colonialist complete the household. Identities are mistaken, wires crossed and into this mad fun house comes a “falsie-fitter” summoned by the spinster. Things eventually do get sorted out, but not without immense hilarity along the way.