A FLEA IN HER EAR

 by Georges Feydeau and directed by Kenneth Spencer

The Maskers Theatre Company presented "A Flea in her Ear" by Georges Feydeau, translated by John Mortimer and directed by Ken Spencer at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton from Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th September 1972.

The Southampton Echo wrote;

 

The Maskers, no slouches when it comes to handling difficult material, are tackling one of the most difficult forms of theatre -- farce -- at the Nuffield Theatre this week.

One of the city's busiest amateur dramatic societies, the Maskers are presenting the classic Feydeau farce "A Flea in her Ear". An enterprise which could easily have left them flat on their faces, but after their exhilarating production of "Taming of the Shrew" earlier in the year they could hardly step backwards. Being of a literal turn of mind, farces, with their improbable misunderstandings used to irritate me. they have become an acquired taste. Done well they can be a joy of sheer technique. In "Flea" there is no shortage of unlikely blunders: doors to bang, or bedrooms to enter by mistake. It is when the doors really start swinging in the second act that Ken Spencer's fast-paced direction becomes almost a bit too hysterical.

 

Ken Spencer also takes the part of  the jealous Spanish husband, De Histangua, one of the many performances from the men that make the production so lively. First and foremost there is Graham Buchanan (who directed "Shrew") in the double role of a moral, upright and priggish husband, Victor Emmanuel Chandebise and as the coarse drunken porter Poche. He alternates between the two with ease and at times his gestures and expressions are comic genius. Then there is Ray Green as Camille Chandebise who makes us laugh with him. Richard Bowen is the terribly nice languid lover, Tournel; Michael Shailer is the stilted German forever losing his girls at the vital moment; Peter White is an old servant in the hotel (sounding like a cross between Marty Feldman and the Goons), and David Bartlett is the over-rational Dr Finache. A production well worth seeing.

J.P. 

 

Cast in order of appearance

 

Camille Chandebise

Ray Green

Antoinette Plucheux.

Sheila Young

Etienne Plucheux 

Geoffrey Wharam

Dr. Finache

David Bartlett

Lucienne Homenides de Histangua 

Joy Steele

Raymonde Chandebise 

Mollie Manns

Victor Emmanuel Chandebise

Graham Buchanan

Romain Tournel 

Richard Bowen

Carlos Homenides de Histangua

Kenneth Spencer

Eugenie

Ann Kitchen

Augustin Feraillon

David Jupp

Olympe

Sylvia Sherlock

Baptistin 

Peter Whiite

Herr Schwarz

Michael Shailer

Poche

Graham Buchanan

Guests at the Hotel Coq D'Or

Sheila Chitnis, Harry Manns, Una Tompkins, Terence Pring

 

For the Maskers

 

Directed by

Kenneth Spencer

Technical Director

Keith Hooper

Stage Manager

John Schwiller

Production Assistants

Ronald Avery, Bob Hart, Graham Barnes, Ron Tillyer, John Riggs, Roger Lockett, Karen Bartlett, David Cooke

Set design, construction and decor

Kenneth Spencer, John Schwiller

Costume hire

Bristol Old Vic

Wardrobe Mistress.

Serena Brown

Lighting Design

Derek Jones

Lighting and Sound

Bill Sloman

Properties

Angela Stephens