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Preview: Bedroom Farce at Newcastle People’s Theatre

Bedroom Farce by Alan Ayckbourn
Newcastle People’s Theatre
Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 March 2020

Three bedrooms. Four couples. One endless Saturday night of co-dependence and dysfunction, bad tempers and misunderstandings.

This is the third time the People's Theatre has produced Alan Ayckbourn favourite Bedroom Farce. It was first staged here in 1991 and then again in 2009. 

Photo: Jules Dash
Actors Maggie Childs and Roger Liddle who appeared in that first production thirty years ago, return – this time as older couple Delia and Ernest whose comfortable routine is disrupted by a leaky roof and their son's disintegrating marriage. Maggie (who played Kate in the 1991 production) comments “30 years ago I tried to recall those feelings I had as a young wife in her first home, now I just think of my mother! It’s a great play and still hugely enjoyable to be involved in.” 

Set in the late 1970s this is a world of autumn colours and electric blankets, of landlines, eiderdowns and cruet sets.

We meet the four couples over the course of one night. As well as Delia and Ernest, there’s Malcolm and Kate aka ‘love’s young dream’ who are looking forward to their housewarming party. Nick’s laid up with a bad back and wife Jan’s just heard her ex’s relationship on the rocks, while Trevor and Susannah … well, they’re that exhausting couple whose imploding relationship could well take a few others down with it.

The action takes place across three of these couples most private and telling of spaces - the bedroom.

As Delia comments "you can tell a great deal about a person from their bedroom" and she’s right.  Each of the rooms is as distinct and unique as the marriages that formed them - but will the decor outlive the relationships?

Snowballing sexual mishaps collide with mundane domestic questions: does the ceiling need painting? Is it okay to stash porn in the sock drawer? This lively romp is as enduringly popular as it is hilariously funny, but beware: this is no light comedy. Director Steve Hewitt comments “there’s a dark and cynical edge to this play that might make you question a few things that you always believed were true.”

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