Playhouse sizzles with classic comedy, No Sex Please, We’re British

 

 Morrisburg’s popular Playhouse will sizzle with laughter for the entire month of August with the classic hit comedy, No Sex Please, We’re British.

The hilarious farce, by Alistair Foot and Anthony Marriott,  played in London’s West End from 1971 to 1987, keeping packed houses laughing for 17 solid years. It was later made into a movie starring popular British comedian Ronnie Corbett. With this track record, artistic director Donnie Bowes is confident this third comedy of the summer season will make for a riotous month of August. 

“We’ve gotten off to a great start this summer,” says Bowes. “We expect the parking lot will continue to overflow with this next classic comedy hit. And it’s one of the largest casts we’ve had in a long time.”

 The show has all the elements that make a farce such an entertaining audience experience. Characters are caught in a difficult predicament with something to hide; inept friends are recruited to get them out of the trouble they’re in;  a whole army of unexpected people arrive on the scene to crank up the tension and make the cover-up even more difficult.

The frantic action begins quite innocently when Peter and Frances Hunter send away for some glassware. To their horror they receive a shipment of lewd photographs instead. The nightmare continues when they are inundated with boxes of blue films and pornographic books. To make matters worse, they live in an apartment over the bank where Peter works and they are about to be visited by his boss and a bank inspector. 

All of this unfolds on the very day Peter’s mother-in-law also decides to visit. 

In a desperate effort to dispose of the unexpected shipments of unwanted goods, the couple recruit the help of Brian Runnicles, a bumbling and inept bank employee, who only makes the situation worse in his half-baked efforts to help. 

Audiences will be happy they’ve dropped by the apartment to experience first hand the hilarious goings-on in this high stakes adventure. 

Director Richard Bauer, and Brian Young, who plays Brian Runnicles, know very well the comic impact this show will make having both performed in the play years ago at other theatres. Bauer has both starred in and directed many of the Playhouse’s hit farces including last season’s hit Wife Begins at Forty, which also featured Young, and veteran  actor Walter Learning, who is returning to play Bromwell, the bank boss. 

Joining them will be Katie Lawson as Frances Hunter and her real life husband Derek Moran as stage husband Peter Hunter. Lawson has starred in several Playhouse farces including Not Now Darling, while Moran makes his Playhouse debut.

Linda Goranson, playing the mother-in-law Eleanor Hunter, starred in last season’s Nice Family Gathering and will appear later in the season in The Cemetery Club

Returning to The Playhouse after a 13 year absence is Shaun Clarke, who takes on the role of Mr. Needham, the bank inspector. Clarke appeared in Seduced by Moonlight, one of the first shows in the theatre’s current toothbrush factory venue. 

Rounding out the cast are new-comers Katie Leamen and Jackie English, more unexpected guests who arrive in the middle of the mayhem, along with Ottawa actor Zach Council, who turns up the heat as the prodding Superintendent.  

The Playhouse is happy to once again treat audiences to a cast of recurring and returning favourites as well as some talented new faces. The set design is by John Thompson with lights by Sean Free. 

No Sex Please, We’re British runs August 1-25. For tickets call: 613-543-3713 or go to uppercanadaplayhouse.com. 

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