"Bedroom Farce" at Westport Country Playhouse

By Tom Nissley¬†“Bedroom Farce” is not the finest of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedies, but it is being given something of a showcase production at Westport this month that will certainly entertain you. The story unfolds in three bedrooms, respectively belonging to an older couple, Ernest (Paxton Whitehead) and Delia (Cecilia Hart) with a rather disturbed (autistic?) son, Trevor (Carson Elrod) who is in a fragile marriage with an equally disturbed young woman, Susannah (Sarah Manton). The two are often involved in unpleasant public displays of disaffection, which is why they are unwelcome at the home of a young couple, Malcolm (Scott Drummond) and Kate (Claire Karpen) trying to have a lovely party that will make them socially connected. We see their bedroom because it’s a place to store coats from the party. The third bedroom belongs to another young couple. Nick (Matthew Greer) is sprawled in bed with a bad back, so groaning. His wife, Jan (Nicole Lowrance) who was once Trevor’s girlfriend, will go to the party without him, and for the briefest of moments will be involved with Trevor in an embrace, which behooves the drama.

The play is directed by John Tillinger, who has directed other Ayckbourn comedies at the playhouse, several of which have included the delightful Whitehead and Hart team. Carson Elrod also starred in “How the Other Half Loves.” His full frontal wackery as Trevor is amusing and bemusing and impossible to ignore.

A sub-theme in Malcolm and Kate’s bedroom is Malcolm wrestling with a do-it-yourself dressing table kit which was meant to turn into a surprise for Kate. The surprise collapses when Trevor touches it -- a cute piece of stagecraft which no doubt took a lot of engineering to prepare.

You will enjoy “Bedroom Farce,” and surely find some personal memories in one or another of the dimensions of the production.

For tickets and information go to www.westportplayhouse.org, or phone 203-227-4177

Tom Nissley for the Ridgelea Reports on Theatre
September 2, 2015

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