The Argyle Players will present Ray Cooney’s award-winning comedy ‘Out of Order’ as their Spring production, with performances running from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th May 2016 at The Tovey Hall Theatre, Central United Reformed Church, in Grove Street, Bath.
Set in a suite at the Westminster Hotel, Cooney’s farce finds junior government minister Richard Willey planning to spend a ‘saucy’ evening with Jane Worthington, secretary to the Leader of the Opposition. Things go disastrously wrong, however, when the pair discover a body trapped in the hotel’s sash window and, in desperation, Richard calls his Parliamentary Private Secretary, George Pigden, to help him out of the sticky situation. It goes from bad to worse with the arrival of Jane’s husband Ronnie, an unscrupulous waiter, Mrs Willey and an irate nurse.
‘Out of Order’ premiered at the Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead in 1990, with Cooney directing and playing the part of hapless George Pigden himself. It went on to have a long run at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre with Donald Sinden starring as Richard Willey. In 1991, the play won the Lawrence Olivier Award for ‘Comedy of the Year’ and part of its worldwide success includes a 1997 Hungarian movie version made in Budapest!
Widely regarded as ‘The Master of Farce’, Ray Cooney began his theatrical career as a boy actor in 1946. Ten years later he joined Brian Rix performing successful farces at the Whitehall Theatre and in 1983, went on to form the Theatre of Comedy Company. Cooney stresses how farces improve with constant re-writing – you start with a script that is “comparable to a middle-of-the-range Ford motor car” but “by the time it appears on the West End stage it must have acquired the precision, the elegance and the comfort of a Rolls Royce.”
Director Lorna Burgess says “Ray Cooney’s ‘Out of Order’ has been great fun to rehearse and I can’t wait to hear that laughter from an audience.”
This production of ‘Out of Order’ has been entered for the Rose Bowl Amateur Drama Awards. The Argyle Players won the 2013 Rose Bowl Amateur Drama Award for Creativity and Design and their recent productions ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’ and ‘Sleuth’ were nominated in three categories for the 2015 awards.
‘Out of Order’
Wednesday 4th – Saturday 7th May 2016
Starts 7.30pm (doors open 7pm)
Tovey Hall Theatre
Central United Reformed Church
Bath, BA2 6PJ (just off Pulteney Bridge)
Tickets £10 from www.bathboxoffice.org.uk or T: 01225 463362