REVIEWSREVIEWS BYTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Bedroom Farce


By Sir Alan Ayckbourneclipse theatre

Directed by Nick Sandys

Produced by Eclipse Theatre Company

At the Athenaeum Theatre, Chicago

Hilarious British farce features a dedicated ensemble bent on producing laughs

Prolific British playwright Alan Ayckbourn has written over 60 plays and his Bedroom Farce is another funny gem now being produced by Eclipse Theatre Company at the Athenaeum Theatre. Eclipse Theatre covers only one playwright each season and Ayckbourn is their current writer.  Under the clever direction by Nick Sandy, the game o 8 players exuberantly garner all the laughs contained in Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce. Upon entering the theatre, we see the three bedroom set (design by Mike Winkelman), we realize that a wacky, very British farce is at hand. We anticipate laughs and this farce delivers.eclipse theatre

Ernest (Brian Parry) and Delia (Donna Steele) are a upper middle aged couple who each take the other for granted. They worry about their son, Trevor (Joe McCauley) who has married a flaky woman, Susannah (Nina O’Keefe).

Next, we meet Nick (Stephen Dale) who is bedridden with a back injury. His wife Jan (Sasha Gioppo) who is still smitten by Trevor, or so Nick believes. When Malcolm (JP Pierson) and his wife Kate (Emily Tate) host a party, Trevor, Jan and Susannah each converge into Malcolm & Kate’s bedroom as the party moves there.

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Bedroom Farce is filled with exaggerated and improbable situations, crazy plots and much hilarious physical comedy. Ayckbourn has created an empathetic group of characters who are manically played by an inspired cast  Wordplay, clever physical movements, absurdity, and extremely over-played characterizations mark this entertaining farce.

The dedicated, hard working cast featured a true ensemble work. I was impressed with how many funny situations this game cast encountered.  Taking place in three bedrooms, the three beleaguered couples during one endless Saturday  of wild mayhem, play out screwball  funny situations that challenge their temperaments and their domestic order as some have moments of delightful epiphany.

We laugh and commiserate with this likeable crew of misfits. I especially like the work from Stephen Dale as the injured Nick; Emily Tate’s Kate; and JP Pierson’s Malcolm. Farce lover with laugh heartily in  Bedroom Farce. This smart, lovely comedy is just what terrific summer entertainment should be. For a good time, catch the zany crew from Eclipse Theatre as they present a classic British farce in all its manic glory.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: July 28, 2013

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Bedroom Farce page at

At the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Chicago, IL, call 773-935-6875,, tickets $28 – $23 for seniors, $18 for students, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm, running time is 2 hours, 1o minutes with intermission, through September 1, 2013

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