REVIEW: British farce expertly performed, well received


The Rev. Lionel Toop (played by the Rev. Sean Peters) accuses a Russian spy (Jeremy Faust) of being an imposter as Sgt. Towers (Michael Hoppenjan) and Penelope Toop (Meghan Erlacher) look on. Ida the housekeeper (Courtney Peters) tries to revive Miss Skillon (Nancy Black) in View from the Stage’s weekend production of "See How They Run.”

BERIT FAUST | Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 06:48 PM.

The community embraced British farce last weekend as doors slammed, clergymen chased one another, and a Russian spy, and prim and proper Miss Skillon took a fist in the mug and sought solace in the cooking sherry.

On the surface, "See How They Run" is silly. But in the tradition of British gems such as "Noises Off" and "Blithe Spirit," the masterful wordplay and larger-than-life characters elevates it to a sophisticated production, which, done well, bowls the audience along as happily as the performers.

View from the Stage, Crestview's new community theatre troupe, did it well.

You needn’t be an apostle of "Monty Python's Flying Circus," "Fawlty Towers" or "Absolutely Fabulous" to appreciate the local production’s brilliance. A passing knowledge of those classic Britcoms, though, was helpful in recognizing their homage to the cleverness of shows such as Friday night’s play.

Performing Philip King's war-era hoot requires split-second timing, in dialogue delivery and stage movement, and under Sandra Peters' deft direction, the nine-member cast excelled at both.

"It was such a fun play to produce," Berit Faust, the company's executive director, said. "I was quite pleased with our actors and their performance."

I was tickled to see the local cast conquer the perennial bane of producing British farce — which is doing it with a decent British accent.

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