Bedroom Farce at Yeovil Swan Theatre

prompt Bedroom FarceALAN Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce is one of the most frequently performed of his huge back catalogue, and the latest comes from the versatile Swan Theatre company in Yeovil.

Directed by Beryl Snadden with a clever set designed by Geoff Kneller, it is the story of how one selfish and infuriating couple (Trevor and Susannah) can wreck a perfectly good evening for a variety of people.

Trevor’s parents Ernest and Delia are looking forward to celebrating their anniversary, but things are conspiring against them. There’s the leaking roof, the over-priced and under-portioned restaurant, and then an early-hours visit by the peculiar Susannah.

Malcolm and Kate are throwing a housewarming party, but with Trevor and Susannah on the guest list they might as well not bother.

Trevor’s ex, Jan, should be going to the party with her husband Nick, but he’s ricked his back and is bedbound … if only that were the worst of his problems.

All three bedrooms are visible throughout as the blundering Trevor and his dippy wife crash land.

The trick of performing Bedroom Farce is perfect timing and acutely delineated characterisation, and most of this cast of eight has it just right.

Patrick Knox injects Ernest with some wonderfully eccentric foibles, like his little dance, and Ann Cook is the sensible Delia.

Pete Fernandez as Nick mostly has to groan and yell, and he does it splendidly.

Kate and Malcolm are a very odd couple really, given to spicing up their relationship with practical jokes that mostly entail household products and utensils “hidden” in the bed. Here Kate is perfectly captured by Rachel Butcher with Duncan Wright as the long suffering Malcolm.

Amy Batty is Jan, and Hattie Eason a convincingly new-agey Susannah. Roger Mumford’s Trevor seems to want to be more like Nick, complete with the groans and misery, which is an unusual interpretation.

The show, which is almost sold out, continues until Saturday.

For more details, visit the Swan website.



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