A return of good-old stage farce
BACK in the day, good old slapstick farce was a fairly staple diet both on our TV screens and on stage.
Shows such Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em and Last of the Summer Wine dominated the screens and on stage you could enjoy farces including Ray Cooney’s including Run For Your Wife and Out of Order.
Normally the plays involve a policeman, a young lady who ends up in her underwear, a posh gentleman, a butler. and a gardner. And it is usually set in a country house or hotel somewhere.
The story often revolves around a dead body and an affair or three and several big misunderstandings.
Throw in some slapstick stage comedy and the crowds loved it.
But in recent years the genre has been in decline.
However, in 2012 a group of struggling young actors came up with the idea for an old-fashioned style farce which they started performing above a pub in London.
It was called The Play That Goes Wrong. And, they and the play have not looked back since. So much so, the actors have since written another.
Their first show has since gone on to win awards and even reached Broadway.
Last week it arrived at the Curve theatre in Leicester.
The story is a play within a play. The very amateur Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society have decided to stage a new show called The Murder at Haversham Manor which has similarities with The Mousetrap.
The play they perform is set in the 1920s and has a policeman, butler, posh gentleman, a woman that ends up in her underwear, a gardener and a dead body. It also has disaster written all over it from the very start.
The struggling society has tried to put together a stage set but it does keep on falling to bits as the actors try and carry on as best they can while holding up the door and various ornaments that have fallen.
This is a very slick and clever play which keeps the audience entertained even before it begins as the acting starts well before the auditorium is full.
The badly-designed set is in many ways the star of the show as it is the prop that keeps the play going and allows the actors to show off their skills.
It must be difficult to deilver lines while trying to carry out some of the stunts.
This is a superb show and one that deserves its accolades, the audience reaction at the end was as positive as the Curve has seen.
The group’s second show A Comedy About a Bank Robbery is coming to the Curve next year so make sure you book your tickets.