By Alan Davies
Thursday, November 1, 2012
THERE’S a double bill of two short Tom Stoppard comedies opening at the Barn Theatre this week.
The Barn is reviving its tradition of including an evening of one-act plays in its annual season.
And it is starting with Sir Tom Stoppard, one of the most successful playwrights to have emerged in Britain in the second half of the 20th century.
The Real Inspector Hound and After Magritte will play at the Handside Lane theatre from tomorrow (Friday) until Saturday, November 10.
After Magritte, directed by Mel Powell, starts with a bizarre tableau showing a Magritte-like image of a woman lying flat on her back on an ironing board, another woman in a ball gown on her hands and knees, and a man in fishing waders standing on a chair looking up into the light fitting.
Gazing through the window at this scene is an astonished police constable.
Before long we meet an eccentric detective – Inspector Foot of the Yard.
The audience, though not the characters, eventually get an explanation of all these weird events, but the fun arises out of the many misunderstandings along the way.
The Real Inspector Hound, directed by Richard Llewellyn, shows us two theatre critics watching a new play.
We eavesdrop on their comments on this rather dire production, until one of the critics makes the grave mistake of answering the phone ringing on the stage.
He then gets caught up in the action of the play and the comedy continues!
John Davies is the overall producer of the performances.
“Stoppard is deservedly popular,” he said. “But we don’t get many opportunities these days to see his earlier short plays, which are brilliantly written comic masterpieces.”
Tickets are on sale now for just £10. There’s also a free-of-charge post-show talk after the performance on Friday, November 9 by directors Richard Llewellyn and Mel Powell and their casts, who will answer audience questions.
The plays open at the Barn on Friday, November 2, with further performances on November 3, November 5, November 8, November 9 and November 10, all at 8pm.
Tickets are available from the Barn box office on 01707 324300, or online at http://www.barntheatre.co.uk/