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The British Are Coming
To a theater near you, as the Jewel Box and BPA feature 1980s UK-flavored shows this month.
‘Noises Off’ at Bainbridge Performing Arts, Feb. 6-22
Some say this play, written in the early 1980s, could be the best contemporary farce to this day. It’s debatable, but this a show said to have been created and sustained for the sole purpose of audience enjoyment.
Humor. Laughter. Slapstick. Wit.
Phobias, love triangles and wardrobe malfunction.
All sorts of theatrical shenanigans punctuate this 1982 play-within-a-play written by the British playwright/novelist/journalist Michael Frayn. It’s being directed by Theresa Thuman (“Urinetown,” “The Secret Garden”) at BPA, opening tonight with the chance to mingle with performers and patrons after the show.
That would be a fitting cap to the night as the play follows the backstage, mishap-ridden antics of a comically doomed, inept acting troupe, stumbling its way from dress rehearsal to a disastrous opening night — in three acts.
Which, by that description, it doesn’t sound quite like the kind of production you’d actually want to spend money to see. But it is.
It’s delightful disappointment. Quite humorous misfortune. It’s a classic. The show’s billed aptly at BPA as “A British Romp,” as the actors “try desperately to hang onto their lines, their sanity, and their clothes.”
See a full story in today’s Bainbridge Review and the entertainment section of www.bainbridgereview.com.
‘NOISES OFF’ plays Feb. 6-22 with curtains at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays at the BPA Playhouse, 200 Madison Ave. on Bainbridge. Tickets: $24/$18. Supporting Bainbridge Helpline. Info: www.bainbridgeperforming
arts.org, (206) 842-8569.
‘Pack of Lies’ at the Jewel Box Feb. 6-March 1
The Jewel Box reigns in the retro British flavor as well this month, with English playwright and screenwriter Hugh Whitemore’s 1983 piece “Pack of Lies.”
A bit different than the “Noises Off” romp. This is more of an exercise in imagining what would you do if your best friends were Russian spies.
The plots of Whitemore’s plays have often been framed around historical events. “Pack of Lies” covers the events leading up to the arrest of an American couple that was caught spying for the Russians in suburban London in 1961.
While it’s a cold war story, the play doesn’t hinge on suspense. It examines more the morality of lying than the theatrics of espionage.
An ordinary mother, father and daughter receive an unexpected visit from a government intelligence agent who wants to use the family’s home as an operations base to spy on their neighbors, best friends and suspected Soviet operatives, the Krogers.
‘PACK OF LIES’ plays Feb. 6 through March 1 with curtains at 8 p.m. Fridays and Satrudays, 2 p.m. Feb. 15, 22 and March 1 at the Jewel Box, 225 Iverson Ave. in Poulsbo. Tickets: $14/$12. Sponsored by The Healthy Arts Society. Info: www.jewelboxpoulsbo.org, (360) 779-9688.