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See How They Run
a British Farce
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Phillip King

COMPANY : Rosewater Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Rosewater Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 2659

SHOWING : February 08, 2008 - March 08, 2008

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

So swift is the action, so involved the situations, so rib tickling the plot in this London hit that at its finish audiences are left as exhausted from laughter as though they had run a foot race. Galloping in and out of the four doors of an English vicarage are an American actor and actress (he is now stationed with the air force in England), a cockney maid who has seen too many American movies, an old maid who "touches alcohol for the first time in her life," four men in clergyman suits presenting the problem of which is which, for disguised as one is an escaped prisoner, and a sedate Bishop aghast at all these goings on and the trumped up stories they tell him. Non stop fun and an absolute riot. You will be rolling in the aisles.

The Rosewater Theatre is Roswell's newest professional quality theatre, now located at the old Village Playhouse venue. See How They Run to be performed in the Theatre in the Round.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Snapper Morgan
Reverend Humphrey James Beck
Ms. Skillon Evelyn Cummo
Bishop of Lax Don DeBord
Penelope Elizabeth Fricke
Ida Anna Gorman
Man Adam Johnson
Lionel John Mistretta
Sergeant G.S. Riley
Clive Colin Rust
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REVIEWS

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And They Ran Their Bums Off.....
by a thespian in tears
Monday, March 3, 2008
4.0
I must admit I did not originally set out to see this production for all the "right" reasons, I did not go for an evening out to be "entertained" at the theater, I went to have an evening out with friends, to see an acting colleague/friend of mine that is a member of the cast, as well as my own curiosity of seeing The Rosewater Theater in their new venue in Roswell, but I was treated to an evening out of being "entertained" by a top quality theater production, and that was a delightful added bonus.

My reason for not having the "right" reasons above is that I am not a huge fan of most British farces, but this production helped to change my comedic tastes somewhat...the toil, the sweat (and lots of it) and the tears of this group of actors is what helped to bring about that change. It was not a full house the night we attended, but we were treated to no less of a performance than a sold out crowd would have been. The energy level, the chemistry and the comedic timing of the cast was amazing even from the first act when its setup premise requires the audience's patience and attention in order to "get" what follows in the next two acts, and what follows is everything from chuckles to hearty laughs. This excellent cast is what helped me to enjoy a show that usually is not my cup of English tea.

Miss Skillon had the almost impossible task of being humorous both conscious and "passed out" which she mastered quite well. Also honorable mention to Miss Skillon, Ida- the Maid, the Bishop of Lax, and Lance Corporal Clive Winton for the excellent deliveries of their lines and their hilarious interpretations of their characters.

Theater in the Round cannot be an easy task for an actor, you are totally exposed with no place to hide and are surrounded by what could become the enemy, this cast pulled that task off with great ease. In theater, you are taught to cheat out front to the audience but in this theater, you have to cheat out to a audience that is in a circle, giving thought and consideration to every audience memeber with your blocking, and this could only have been accomplished with very observant direction.

Finally, I did not know what to expect from the theater itself as it is tucked away in the back of a shopping center, but the renovations to the two theaters it houses and the lobby itself are quite beautiful. With the venue itself, quality productions such as this, and the top notch performances that I witnessed that night, I predict that the Rosewater Theater Company will enjoy the same success at this location as they did in the Cumming area.
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I smell something funny…OK, who farced?
by line!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
3.5
What’s fast, furious, and funny?

British farce!

(...when it is done correctly)

Rosewater Theatre’s current production of “See How They Run” tries very hard to capture the spirit of British farce, more so than many other productions of farces I have seen lately. The script is a bit of a handicap to the pace of the production because it takes its sweet time doing the exposition and setups. This gets things off to a slow start (which unfortunately takes most of the first act). It seemed to me that it was a pretty long time before the first laugh came.

But once the laughs start, they don’t stop. Once things pick up speed, the show hits its stride and doesn’t slow down again until the inevitable resolutions and explanations in the final scene.

Rosewater’s SHTR is staged “in the round” and, surprisingly so, I thought it worked fairly well. There were some minor issues with long crosses from one corner of the stage to another that affected the timing of some bits, but they were not deadly. My only other concern was the proclivity for the audience to incur whiplash due to constant neck craning to follow the fast paced comings and goings from the four corners of the stage!

On the whole I found the direction of this show to be “on point” and complimentary to the script while making good use of space and talent. Movement in a farce has more in common with choreography and stage combat than blocking, and there were several physical bits that were obviously well thought out. Which is much better than the mindless running around and screaming which seems to occur too often in other productions of farces. Mind you, there is still a lot of running around and screaming, but in this production it is not mindless.

Rosewater's SHTR is constrained by a “community theatre” budget which did limit the quality of the production values as far as the set, costumes, lighting and sound go. They were correct in spirit, but were inexpensive looking and could have used more detail.

The actors, for the most part, understood the fundamental character trait of all farce: desperation! They played their characters with gusto and a sense of fun that came across clearly to the audience. This was a fairly balanced cast in terms of talent, ability and effort, and they did a commendable job of keeping up with the difficult demands of the genre. Farce is all about frantic timing, constant desperation and fast paced movement, and each cast member probably looses a pound or two with each performance. Good farce is a workout!These guys and gals are working hard and they earn each and every laugh they get!

Overall “See How They Run” impressed me with its understanding of the spirit of British farce while providing a very enjoyable evening of community theatre entertainment. You should go by the new Rosewater Theatre in Roswell and see how it runs before “See How They Run” runs away forever!
-Rial

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