Run for Your Wife

British Farce at its Best

Writer Ray Cooney is the master of the British farce.  Slamming doors, lies, mistaken identities, silly innuendos, double entendres and just plain funny stuff is the hallmark of this playwright. Run for your Wife, now on stage at Playhouse II in Grand Bend follows the Cooney format completely.

John Smith is a London cab driver.  He is such a nice guy that he can’t say no – and as a result he has married two women.  He has two flats – one with Mary, one with Barbara.  Working around his cabbie’s schedule, he lives with both women carefully keeping track of his timetable.  When he gets involved in a mugging, things begin to unravel.  He enlists the help of his upstairs neighbour, Stanley, who lives over Mary’s place, in keeping his two roles separate.  The upstairs neighbour over Barbara’s place, Bobby, only complicates matters.  And when two different policemen investigate the situation, Detective Sergeant Troughton and Detective Sergeant Porterhouse, his bigamy is at risk of being revealed.Run For Your Wife_2014

David Leyshon is the beleaguered John Smith, the cabbie who somehow lands two wives, and has to schedule his life to spend time with both.  His side-kick is his neighbour, the ne’er-do-well Stanley, played hilariously by Michael Lamport.  Lamport not only looks like Robin Williams but also has the same knack for comedy.  Susie Burnett is his perfect foil as the long suffering Mary, while Stacy Smith is the confused Barbara.  Aiden deSalaiz is very funny and flamboyant as Bobby, while Anthony Bekenn and David Talbot create laughter as the two detectives being strung along. With all seven characters, comedic timing is key, and they all do it brilliantly.

The set is well-constructed, putting two different apartments on the same stage.  And of course, there is the requisite number of doors to be slammed.

This farce was written in 1983 and while most of the jokes have withstood the test of time, it does show its age with some of the humour.  Some of the laughs revolve around Bobby, the gay character, but like the popular TV show Will and Grace, the jokes are not at Bobby’s expense, but at the reactions towards him.  However, some might border on politically incorrect.

Nevertheless, this play had the opening night audience rolling in the aisles.  Giggles could be heard across the theatre, anticipating the upcoming laughs as the situations became obvious.

Kudos to director Marsha Kash, herself the author of farces, for assembling this cast well-seasoned in comedy, and making the most of the humour.

Run for Your Wife continues with eight shows a week until August 2 at Playhouse II, Grand Bend. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office: 519-238-6000 or Toll Free 1-855-372-9866, or check www.draytonentertainment.com

Photo:  David Leyshon as John Smith, Michael Lamport as Stanley and Daivd Talbot as Detective Troughton.  Photo by Scott Williams.

Run for Your Wife
By Ray Cooney
Directed by Marcia Kash
Performed by Anthony Bekenn, Susie Burnett, Aiden deSalaiz, Michael Lamport, David Leyshon, Stacy Smith, David Talbot.
Produced by Drayton Entertainment
Playhouse II, Grand Bend
July 17 to August 2, 2014
Reviewed by Mary Alderson

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