No rest for the cast of Bedroom Farce at Ipswich’s New Wolsey
WEST End star Leanne Jones is struggling with the giggles.
“Blocking through the scenes on our own or with your [on stage] husband or wife, you’re fine. The minute we’re watching each other’s scenes, you hear somebody giggle and you want to laugh so I’m corpsing quite badly; it’s just so funny,” she says as we talk about the New Wolsey’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce.
“Sometimes you can you can get away with it; sometimes you just have to bite something,” adds cast-mate Christopher Ettridge.
“Or look away or breathe,” adds Leanne, who made her professional debut as Tracy Turblad in the hit musical at The Shaftesbury Theatre; earning her the Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer, the Theatregoers Choice Award: 2008 for Best Actress in a musical and The Laurence Oliver Award: 2008 for Best Actress in a Musical.
“The worst one is if it’s in a really really serious play. I worked at the RSC last season and we were in the very dramatic and emotional last scene of a play called Cardenio, a lost play by Shakespeare, and one of the characters standing just behind me farted,” laughs Christopher.
“Everybody on stage heard it and everyone was going ‘oooh’. The sprit was broken.”
Bedroom Farce, at the New Wolsey until May 12, follows the marital ups and downs of Trevor and Susannah who are always rowing, making up, sulking, shouting, flirting and fighting in other people’s bedrooms.
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During one night, they wreak havoc on the sleep, security and soft furnishings of all those around them.
Christopher plays Trevor’s father, Ernest. Leanne plays newly-wed Kate.
While one of Ayckbourn’s lighter, and earlier, pieces. His unnerving knack of capturing the ridiculousness of ordinary life and human beings’ vulnerability are clearly present.
“It will make you laugh,” says Christopher, who has performed in a range of productions across the country as well as playing police officer Reg Deadman in hit BBC sitcom - and a particular favourite of mine - Goodnight Sweetheart.
“I think the people will see themselves on stage. If they don’t see themselves they’ll see their mum and dad, kids or something. You recognise the truth of it, that’s the reason it’s funny because he tends to write things where you think ‘oh that’s painfully true’.”
“There’s four marriages; everybody will be able to say ‘oh that’s where we are’. I think it comments on relationships and marriages so I think people maybe might learn something,” laughs Leanne, who was in another bedroom farce on a cruise ship earlier in the year.
“I feel like I’ve spent all the year so far in bed,” she laughs again.
Leanne will also be performing at Ipswich gay bar and nightclub Bettys on Saturday, April 28.
“I’m singing Hairspray songs, disco. I have someone who books them for me and he was asking when I was available. I was like ‘I’m going to be in Ipswich for nine weeks now, get me one in Ipswich’.”