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