The bickering, wealthy Worthingtons, Ashley and Billy, want to divorce. However, in the true spirit of There’s A Burglar In My Bed, each is soon convinced that he/she has a solution to the ticklish issue of property claims.
Naturally, in no time at all, the scheming couple have their respective lovers, Teddy and Buffy, deeply embroiled in their conniving matrimonial plotting.
Of course, matters only escalate as Buffy’s determined, slightly larcenous sister, is convinced to get involved in the plots and counter plots. And, oh yes, she’s shortly followed into the Worthington wiles by a delightfully predatory woman; one, I might add, who possesses a shockingly disposable dress. Now all of this results in…
Did I mention the fabulous Worthington Necklace? Or the crumpled, befuddled private detective lurking in the foliage? Or the nuns of ‘limited’ means? Or an erratically flashing camera? Unyielding doors? Various ropes and gags? Bathroom blunders? Or the…
In a madcap farce like Upper Canada Playhouse’s utterly outrageous season opener, There’s A Burglar in My Bed, currently on stage, the “plot” basically involves a collection of hilariously distraught characters frantically painting themselves into the proverbial corner.
As director Donnie Bowes put it at an earlier press conference “playwright Michael Parker retains a lot of the traditional conventions of British farce in his play, the physical gags, the identity confusion. Like most farces, events begin with a huge mistake which throws people into a panic as things go from bad to worse very quickly.”
Bowes is working with a very strong (and agile) cast in Burglar. The seven actors must establish their characters almost immediately, because the events of Parker’s play allow very little room for “development.” Surprise follows surprise in the plot: virtually all lines have to be delivered at a break neck pace, generally on the run. And if anyone actually gets to rest during this Playhouse production, it’s only because he or she is unconscious – or possibly tied to a bed.
Garfield Andrews as Billy, Debra Hale as Ashley, Perry Mucci as Teddy, Alanis Peart as Buffy, Susan Greenfield as Marianne, Jody Osmond as Deborah and (the much abused) Allan Cooke as Detective Davis rise to every challenge in There’s A Burglar In My Bed.
They succeed in making quite a comic mix. After all, if you toss in a little greed and a dollop of treachery, a couple of doses of innocence and outright confusion, plenty of colourful fibbing and the occasional pinch of romance, you create a production that definitely has audiences roaring with laughter.
There are some pricelessly funny lines in this play. Sight gags and non stop action abound.
And Allan Cooke, as Davis the Detective (Davis: “I shall be ready and waiting in an advantageous, secretive position.” Teddy: “What?” Davis: “I’ll be hiding in the bushes.”) gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘pratfall’. And possibly ‘concussion’.
Is the plot all nonsense? Well, of course it is. That’s the whole point of farce. Is it funny? Well, of course it is. Hilariously so. That’s the joy of farce.
And, having attended Upper Canada Playhouse’s production of There’s A Burglar in My Bed, I, for one, will never be able to utter the words, “Now, William, now!” in quite the same manner again.
There’s A Burglar in My Bed runs at Upper Canada Playhouse until July 3. For tickets and information, contact the box office at 613-543-3713.