Monday, August 20, 2012

Theatre Review - See How They Run

Last week my wife and I took in a play at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre in Centerville. We've enjoyed a number of their musicals and larger plays over the past years in their Barlow Main Stage but I didn't realize until recently that they have a smaller "black box" style theatre in their Leishman Performance Hall. They are currently running a production of Phillip King's See How They Run.

I had seen See How They Run 20+ years ago at another theatre and had a lot of fun with it so I was excited to get the chance to see it again. The play is a British comedy filled with tons of farcical comic situations. It's set entirely in the main living/sitting room of an English vicarage and has a moderately small cast made up primarily of a vicar, his wife, their maid, a gossipy nosy neighbor and a surprise visit from an old friend of the vicar's wife. By the end of the play we have another vicar, a Bishop (the wife's uncle), a Russian spy and a bumbling police sergeant.

The first act of the play is a little slow moving as it sets up the various relationships and introduces us to the nature and quirks of each of the characters. There's a fair amount of verbal humor and wordplay but the play really kicks into high gear by the second act when we get plenty of physical humor and tense situations. Two characters lose their clothes and spend a while running around and around the set trying to find them. Other characters are continually locked in the closet or thrown out windows. The characters most "in the know" (the wife and her old friend) are particularly funny as they try to explain the situation to the other characters all the while keeping up some semblance of respectability. The straight characters do an excellent job of being confused yet trying to catch up with the plot without being overtaken by the silliness.

The play was just as much fun as I remembered from years ago. There were a few moments where things didn't go quite as smoothly or tightly as perhaps they should have. I think this may have been more noticeable due to the close and intimate settings of the Leishman Hall. Being that close to the performance can make the play that much more immersive but it can also put added pressure on the performers. We saw the Thursday cast and overall I think they did a fabulous job.

The show runs for another ~2 weeks at CenterPonit and they have tickets available online. Seating is general admission so if you have a preferred seat, you should probably arrive a little early. Granted, in such a small venue there probably aren't any "bad" seats. From my experience, this particular play isn't run very often, so if you're in the Centerville area and are a fan of farce, you should check it out.

1 comment:

Brian Miller said...

dude sounds like there is enough here to keep your interest and leave you wondering what is coming next....pretty cool...