Tu­gun The­atre’s lat­est com­edy, It Runs In The Fam­ily, is pep­pered with Ray Cooney’s epic sense of hu­mour & larger-than-life char­ac­ters

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS - ROSE SADLEIR

Full of pure English charm and wit, Jil­lian Rawl­ings reck­ons English play­wright Ray Cooney pens the best come­dies. That’s why the di­rec­tor chose the Cooney clas­sic It Runs In The Fam­ily to close Tu­gun The­atre Company’s 2014 sea­son.

“I just love Ray Cooney’s writ­ing ... he’s one of the best writ­ers,” she says.

“His sense of hu­mour is leg­endary and his char­ac­ters come up larger than life.”

As tes­ta­ment to his tal­ent, Jil­lian says she has been laugh­ing her way through the en­tire re­hearsals.

“It’s laugh out loud com­edy,” she says.

“The se­cret of a farce is that you have to play it straight, you can’t try to make it funny or it won’t have an im­pact.”

It Runs In The Fam­ily fol­lows the story of a for­mer nurse of St An­drews hos­pi­tal in London. The nurse re­turns to the pres­ti­gious hos­pi­tal and bumps into Dr Mor­timer, a man she used to have some “fun” with in the sluice room two decades ear­lier.

The re­sult of that fling is an 18-year-old son, whom Dr Mor­timer is gob­s­macked to find out about.

“She felt her son should know the real truth of his fa­ther rather than the story she has al­ways told him that his dad fell off the Hi­malayan moun­tain top,” Jil­lian says.

While the son is keen to meet his dad for the first time, the doc­tor is busy giv­ing the Lec­ture of the Year to 100 of the world’s lead­ing physi­cians.

So Dr Mor­timer sends his faith­ful friend, Dr Bon­ney, to be the stand-in fa­ther in­stead.

The lo­cal pro­duc­tion stars Mark Fell, Liam Evans, David Fraser, Bev­erly Forsyth, Mark Ran­dle and Jim Fury.

Jil­lian says her main pur­pose as di­rec­tor is to “en­ter­tain the troops”.

“It’s gen­eral mad hu­mour that ev­ery­one will love,” she says.

“It is set in mod­ern times and the cos­tumes are just fab­u­lous. The props have come up beau­ti­fully.”

Jim Fury, Mark Ran­dle and Peter Bar­ratt star in Tu­gun The­atre's lat­est pro­duc­tion

It Runs in the Fam­ily.

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