Review: Good Theater's hilarious Farce

Rooms of laughs
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  March 30, 2011

theater2_bedroomfarce_main
INTIMATE PRANKS Just one of the many highlights of Bedroom Farce.
You can tell a lot about a couple by their bedroom, says proper English matron Delia (Cathy Counts) to her husband Ernest (Bob McCormack). There are three bedrooms to clue us in on the pairings of Bedroom Farce: Jan and Nick (Janice Gardner and Mark Rubin) have bright, wacky colors with a parrot and big dose of IKEA. Kate and Malcolm (Meredith Lamothe and Erik Moody) have a new house with a bed of barely-made leopard-zebra print and a coat of primer still on the wall. And Delia and Ernest share a quintessentially decorous British bedroom of dark wood and an ivory bedspread. There is much getting into and out of these three beds in Alan Ayckbourn's slight, silly, delightful little Bedroom Farce, in its last weekend under the gossamer direction of Brian P. Allen for the Good Theater, in a show rich in delectably ridiculous characterizations.

Susannah and Trevor (Deirdre Fulton, a Phoenix staffer, and William McDonough III) are the one couple whose bed we don't get to gaze on, because theirs is the one relationship on the rocks. Instead, they make their ways around and into the other beds over the course of a very long night that begins with Kate and Malcolm's housewarming party, which Susannah and Trevor ruin with their histrionics. Thereafter, Trevor goes off to his ex-girlfriend Jan (much to the consternation of Nick, laid up in bed) and Susannah to Trevor's mother Delia (much to the consternation of Ernest, with whom Delia is celebrating their anniversary). And the wittily British foibles begin.

The casting of these couples is just divine: The marvelously brusque Gardner is a force to be reckoned with against her sniveling husband, who barely leaves his bed for the entire two acts. As the youngest, newest couple, the long and slender Lamothe and Moody are a lovely pairing with graceful, scintillating timing, and Counts and McCormack do masterful comic work as the eldest couple: The humor of Delia's British understatement is a rich as clotted cream, and McCormack has a laconic deadpan that is absolutely worth the price of admission. And vexing the hell out of all these couples by the wee hours are Susannah and Trevor; Fulton and McDonough make their fundamental neediness and insecurities winningly exasperating and, in Fulton's case, convey a priceless edge of hysteria.

Everyone will find their way to the right bed by dawn, of course, but the antics are such fun that you're almost sorry when they do.

Megan Grumbling can be reached atmgrumbling@hotmail.com.

BEDROOM FARCE | by Alan Ayckbourn | Directed by Brian P. Allen | Produced by the Good Theater, at the St. Lawrence Arts Center | through April 3 | 207.885.5883

  Topics: Theater , Theater, Theatre, Alan Ayckbourn,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MEGAN GRUMBLING
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   IT'S GOOD TO BE WITCH  |  September 19, 2014
    Trapped, suppressed, and unsatisfied with the small-mindedness of their small New England town, what are three divorcées of scandalous creative powers to do?
  •   PREPARE FOR THE FALL  |  September 18, 2014
    The season of theater at USM, Good Theater, Mad Horse, Portland Stage Company, and many more.
  •   TAKING CENTER STAGE  |  September 03, 2014
    “I’ve always loved hidden treasures,” says Michael Levine, founding artistic director of Acorn Productions, as he climbs the stairs to the third-floor ballroom of Mechanics Hall, a gem of a historic space concealed in plain sight right on Congress Street.
  •   BARN FULL OF WONDER  |  August 31, 2014
    Although summer is winding down, there’s still time for this summery, feel-good theatrical throwback to simpler times.
  •   BEREAVE IT OR NOT  |  August 22, 2014
    A dramedy about death, lust, and love by Portland actress and playwright Megan E. Tripaldi.

 See all articles by: MEGAN GRUMBLING