For those of you seeking a little comedic relief this summer, Theatre UCF is offering up a new comedic production filled with laughs and hilarious situations.
Theatre UCF is presenting a new play titled No Sex Please, We’re British, a comedic farce written by Alistair Foot and Anthony Marriott. The play first showed in London’s West End in 1971 and is what is known in theater as a farce, a comedic dramatic piece that uses highly improbable situations and extravagant exaggeration for comical effect. Christopher Niess, artistic director for Theatre UCF and the director of the play, said he was drawn to this play because of the lighter nature of the subject material.
“We have done several other farces of this type before,” he said. “It’s just a lot of fun. It’s great stuff to do during the summer. Very light, nothing very heavy, not heavily intellectual, just a really, really good bit of fun.”
The plot centers on Peter Hunter, an assistant bank manager, and his new bride, Frances. His wife puts in an order for some Scandinavian glassware and instead receives pornography. The hilarity ensues when the pornography continues to arrive and they try to cover it up from a range of houseguests, including the bank manager, police superintendent and other guests. Niess noted the popularity of this production overseas.
“It was really popular in the [United Kingdom]. It didn’t necessarily get a lot of critical acclaim for being a brilliant play, but it was so fun it ran forever," Niess said. “And it’s really been embraced by American audiences as well through the years.”
Jason Osorio, a junior acting major, plays the role of Peter Hunter. He describes his character as a straight-laced guy prone to creating comedic situations.
“Peter’s kind of the straight man,” he said. “I think he’s not an overly comedic character, but some of the things he has to do to get himself out of the situation that he finds himself in are pretty funny. But he’s definitely the problem solver.”
Maggie Langlais, a senior theatre major, plays the role of Hunter’s wife, Frances. She said her character is intently focused on her role as a wife.
“I think that she’s very focused on being a good little wife. They’re newlyweds, and she’s really happy with their situation and she’s in that honeymoon stage still,” she said. “I think that she’s really quick, and she’s really smart and able to think of things. Some of the things she comes up with are hilarious, but I think the reason that she can do that is that she’s quick at picking up on things and uses her likeability to convince people of it. She lies a lot.”
Niess said the nature of Theatre UCF’s educational mission leads them to cast as many students as possible in roles for their productions. He also noted that Theatre UCF has an open-casting policy, meaning that everyone competes for the same roles. He said his cast brings many comedic skills to the table for this performance, which requires a certain set of skills.
“It’s much more about timing, reactions,” Niess said. "There’s a saying that ‘tragedy is for those who feel, and comedy is for those who think.’ Well, the characters within fast-paced comedy like this think very quickly, and it’s a whole different way of behaving and a whole different mindset for their characters they really have to work on.”
The performance will take place at the Black Box Theatre at Theatre UCF and will run from June 7-10, and then from June 14-17.
The cost is $17 for regular tickets, $10 for students and $15 for seniors. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m., and matinee performances begin at 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Theatre UCF will also have two other productions this summer following this play, titled Deathtrap and Spike Heels. For more information on Theatre UCF’s productions, visit theatre.cah.ucf.edu.