Bedroom Farce shines a spotlight on the trials and tribulations of suburban marriage, revolves around four couples, three bedrooms, two celebrations, one blazing row and an illicit kiss (or two). Trevor and Susannah have a problem relationship that requires urgent attention. What better solution than to talk it over with family and friends? Preferably in their respective bedrooms and ideally in the middle of the night. Inevitably, one problem relationship tends to spark off another. When you have friends like Trevor and Susannah, nobody gets much sleep.
“As funny as anything he has written.” - London Times
“Hilarious…The stuff of gleeful recognition.” - London Evening Standard
Theater Review: 'Bedroom Farce' will give you the giggles
Maine Sunday Telegram by APRIL BOYLE, 3/13/2011
With the promise of spring just around the corner, it's time to bid a fond farewell to another winter theater season. The Good Theater is closing out its 9th season with a journey back to 1970s England, where four couples and three bedrooms add up to a rollicking evening of lighthearted laughs.
"Bedroom Farce" was written by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn in 1975 and had its West End debut at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1978. It went on to have a successful 276-performance run on Broadway in 1979.
Costume designer Justin Cote and set designer Janet Montgomery have superbly captured the look and feel of the 1970s, in all its tacky glory. Cote must have scoured the vintage shops and second-hand stores to outfit the cast in so much polyester and paisley. And the hairdos are a definite blast to the past.
Montgomery was given the seemingly impossible task of fitting three bedrooms on the Good Theater's intimate stage. She has succeeded with artistic flair, highlighting the distinctive personalities of each couple.
As the play's title indicates, the production is a farce, filled with absurd situations and plenty of door-slamming fun. The audience gets to voyeuristically witness the behind-closed-doors lives of three couples in their bedrooms, all the while observing the amusing unraveling of the relationship of a fourth couple, who is intertwined in the lives of the other three.
The bedroom to the audience's right belongs to Ernest (Bob McCormack) and Delia (Cathy Counts), who are celebrating their anniversary. They are a proper British couple in their golden years, whose idea of being "wicked" is having sardines on toast in bed. They are the parents of Trevor (William McDonough III), whose relationship with his wife, Susannah (Deirdre Fulton), is on the rocks.
To the far left, is the bedroom of Trevor's ex-girlfriend Jan (Janice Gardner) and her husband, Nick (Mark Rubin). Nick is currently laid up in bed with a pulled back muscle.
In the middle, literally and metaphorically, are Kate (Meredith Lamothe) and Malcolm (Erik Moody). The newlyweds have recently moved into a fixer-upper and are throwing a house-warming party. They have invited all their friends, including Jan, Trevor and Susannah.
Madness and mayhem ensue, as Trevor and Susannah's relationship erupts publicly, throwing a monkey wrench into the lives of the other three couples. It's nonstop action that requires precise timing and execution to garner the laughs. And, the Good Theater's cast is an absolute comic delight to watch.
Rubin's character provides an ongoing gag for the production, with the lights periodically coming up on his side of the stage to reveal him and Gardner in compromising situations due to Nick's back pain. McCormack and Counts serve as comic anchors, with a wonderful array of comic lines, delivered with perfectly deadpan wryness. Lamothe and Moody are comic whirlwinds that infuse the production with vitality. And McDonough and Fulton are an absolute riot in their neurotic roles.
"Bedroom Farce" is well-executed silliness that's sure to bring a smile with its outrageous situations.
Don't be surprised if you see a bit of yourself, or your partner, in the play's thoroughly entertaining, quirky characters.
‘Bedroom Farce’... top choice
The Forecaster, by Scott Andrews, 3/14/2011
"Bedroom Farce," an exceptionally funny comedy by Alan Ayckbourn, is the current offering at Good Theater in Portland.
Theater dominates the top of the arts and entertainment offerings as the mid-point of March passes and the calendar inexorably marches toward spring. Two professional theatrical productions are highly recommended.
First is “Bedroom Farce,” a comic masterpiece by Alan Ayckbourn, a British comic playwright who has penned more than 70 laughers for the stage. Good Theater’s current production, which opened last weekend in Portland, is good for loads of laughs.
In this country, Alan Ayckbourn is often referred to as “the British Neil Simon,” an exceptionally clever playwright whose work is characterized by deft plots and incisive comic wit. But across the Atlantic, Neil Simon might be referred to as the American Alan Ayckbourn.
With more than 70 plays to his credit, Ayckbourn is Britain’s most successful modern comic playwright. Good Theater is currently producing one of Ayckbourn’s best.
“Bedroom Farce” revolves around four couples and three bedrooms. It’s not exactly a traditional slamming-door affair, but it’s wildly funny and the playwright’s insights into relationships are more sophisticated than might be expected in a more traditional farce.
Tops among the cast are the oldest of the four couples. The interplay between Ernest and Delia (Bob McCormack and Cathy Counts) is simply delicious. McCormack’s portrayal of a phlegmatic middle-aged, upper middle-class patrician draws the loudest laughs, and Counts provides the perfect comic foil.
Other kudos have been earned by director Brian P. Allen, for keeping the action moving at a hectic pace, and Janet Montgomery, for managing to fit three bedrooms on a such a small stage.
Ernest - Bob McCormack
Deliah - Cathy Counts
Jan - Janice Gardner
Nick - Mark Rubin
Trevor - William McDonough, III
Susannah - Deirdre Fulton
Malcolm - Erik Moody
Kate - Meredith Lamothe
Director - Brian P. Allen
Set Design - Janet Montgomery
Costumes/Stage Manager - Justin Cote
Tech Director - Stephen Underwood
Asst Tech Director - Craig Robinson
Poster Graphic image - FantasyStock
Lighting Design - Iain Odlin
Assistant Tech Director/Photography - Craig Robinson
Assistant Stage Manager - Heidi Therrien
* Member Actors' Equity Association