Next weekend, I am finishing my five week run as Stanley Gardner, the idiotic yet well-meaning next door neighbor in the British bedroom comedy, Run for Your Wife. I have to say, when I first read Ray Cooney's script, I was amused, but did not imagine that it would have that much of an impact on American audiences. Pleasantly, my initial prediction has been a big miscalculation. The audience has been laughing -- loudly! During the Sunday matinee, I could hear the older theater patrons adjust their oxygen tanks so they could keep on laughing.
Although Run for Your Wife is now high on my mental list of favorite British farces, my number one comedic treasure is still Noises Off, the ultimate example of fast-paced, slam-the-door, smack-his-face slapstick. Playwright Michael Frayn created this gem in the early 1980s. It is a love letter and an inside joke to those of us familiar with the thrilling and unpredictable nature of the stage. Read my review of Noises Off.