That Scottish Play: Beware of the Mad Plaid!
The stage is set with two hotel rooms. There are two doors to the hallway, two closet doors, two bathroom doors, and two adjoining doors. Eight doors and seven actors who slam those doors multiple times. Just what you need for a farce. This is Unnecessary Farce on stage at Playhouse II in Grand Bend. But seeing this comedy is necessary for anyone who enjoys a farce.
Two bumbling cops are on an undercover stakeout to catch a shady mayor. A new accountant has just discovered irregularities in the bookkeeping so the two cops have a not-so-well hidden camera in a plant, in the hopes of catching the mayor when the accountant confronts him with her findings. But along comes the mayor’s body guard to check the place out, and reveals that they are being pursued by the mob – not the Italian Mafia, but the corrupt Scottish Clan. Then the mayor shows up, next there’s the hit man out to kill all of them, and finally the mayor’s wife, looking for her husband. Seven people slamming eight doors, wearing or not wearing the wrong clothes, with cases of mistaken identities.
Credit goes to Director J. Sean Elliott for pulling all the silliness together, making it hilarious, and taking it just far enough over the top. He has an excellent cast of comedic actors who know how to get the most laughs out of every funny moment.
David Leyshon as Eric and Kristen Peace as Billie are perfect as the inept cops. Leyshon starts it off by carefully buttoning his shirt with the telephone cord on the inside. Peace stops the show with her high speed translation of several lines – she gets long applause for her hilarious interpretation.
Jayme Armstrong nails the part of the serious accountant, Miss Brown, embarking on her first romance. Her proper appearance along with her passion creates laughs. A favourite of Playhouse audiences, comedy star Keith Savage is back as Agent Frank. His tough guy swagger alternates with his entire body trembling in fear.
Then there’s the mayor and his wife – Ted Simonett and Valerie Boyle – both of them laughable with their sweet innocence. And finally, Ralph Small is the dangerous hit man. Without giving away any more of the plot, I will only say you need to brush up on all things Scottish. Including your brogue!
This a great night of silly fun, one laugh following on the next, absolutely necessary for fans of the farce.
Unnecessary Farce continues with eight shows a week until July 2 at Huron Country Playhouse, 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.huroncountryplayhouse.com
Photo: Keith Savage as Agent Frank and Ralph Small as Todd in Unnecessary Farce. Photo by Darlene O’Rourke.
By Paul Slade Smith
Directed by J. Sean Elliott
Performed by Jayme Armstrong, Valerie Boyle, David Leyshon, Kristen Peace, Keith Savage, Ted Simonett, Ralph Small.
Produced by Drayton Entertainment
Playhouse II, Grand Bend
June 15 to July 2, 2016
Reviewed by Mary Alderson