A light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect. (Answers.com)
I think I'd better give up, and let yesterday's farce be the last one for me in this lifetime. I just don't get it. While everyone else was practically rolling in the aisles, wetting themselves, I sat there, like the proverbial wet weekend in November, hard pushed to break into a tentative smile.
We went to the Theatre yesterday.
"One Man, Two Guvnors" has played to full houses and rave reviews at the National Theatre, has toured the country equally successfully, and is about to open in London's West End.
Vaudeville discovered alive and well and living uproariously in Richard Bean's terrific 1960s revamp of Goldoni's much-loved commedia dell'arte farce "A Servant Of Two Masters", directed by Nicholas Hytner. (To paraphrase The Guardian.)
Surely, I must be forgiven for giving such a highly praised production of a farce one more go. Surely, I'd get it this time?
The play is full of physical comedy which has been painstakingly choreographed and timed. In the opening moments of the show James Corden, star of The History Boys and Gavin and Stacey, somersaults over an armchair and by the final curtain he has punched himself in the face with a dustbin lid and caught his own nose in a mousetrap.
There is lots of interaction with the audience, ad-libbing and improvisation. Cordon is a genius at thinking on his feet, although he corpsed and dried up at one point and two fellow actors rushed on stage at the same time in an attempt to rescue him; only one of them was meant to be on, which only increased the general hilarity.
While I can appreciate the professionalism of the production, the physical and mental agility and all-round talent of the performers, the intelligently designed and very simple set, the comedy itself leaves me cold. Sorry, slapstick is not for me, a fact of life I will have to accept.
We went on the Culture Coach from Valley's End, a four hour roundtrip.
During the performance two chaps from the audience were dragged on stage to 'help' shift a trunk, one of the two was in clerical garb. It so happened that two of our number came across these two men during the interval and started a conversation with them. They learned that both men work for a catholic charity which helps to feed and house Colombian street children (honestly, no con, they had their credentials and could point to a tv programme about their work). They mentioned that the current financial climate means that donations are drying up and instead of feeding 600 children a week, their reduced means only allow them to care for 300 children. Our kind-hearted village ladies therefore decided to have a whip-round on the coach back to Valley's End. Everybody contributed.
Photos from various sources