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Feydeau farce takes centre stage

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Lethbridge Sun Times

Get ready to laugh out loud with the University of Lethbridge’s presentation of Georges Feydeau’s 19th-century French farce “Sauce for the Goose,” which runs in the University Theatre, Nov. 18-22.

“He wrote a number of great farces from the 1890s to 1910, said director Ron Chambers, who is excited to work with a huge cast of 24 actors for this production, which is translated to English.

“This play was written in 1896, but we placed it in 1901,” he said.

“There’s 24 cast and maybe 11 or 12 principal cast members. I love working with big casts,” he continued.

“It’s a very fun play. There’s some really fun German stereotypes and lots of action,” Chambers said.

“There isn’t a lot of difference between British and French farces but Feydeau basically perfected the farce,” he added.

“Feydeau wrote some wonderful farces,” he said.

“It’s a farce, which means ‘stuffed.’ So it is stuffed with all kinds of crazy stuff,” he observed.

Like most farces, there is a lot of running around, misunderstandings and physical comedy as it follows the story of Vatelin, played by Milo Smith, who has a pact to stay true to his wife, Lucienne, who is also being chased by two other philandering Frenchmen — the adulterous Pontagnac and the lecherous bachelor, Redillon.

Mayhem ensues as a German woman he had an affair with many years ago returns to Paris, hoping to resume the affair, so they meet at the notorious Hotel Ultima where philandering Parisians meet for similarly secret rendezvous.

“Vatelin’s mistress comes to Paris to resume the affair and she just haunts me,” said Milo Smith, who plays Vatelin, who is determined to stay true to his wife.

Smith, who is a familiar face to fans of Shakespeare in the Park, is used to working with big casts, but observed there are no set leads in this story.

“In Shakespeare there are usually a couple of leads, but in this play there are no leads. There are an equal number of people with an equal number of lines and because it is a comedy, timing is important,” he observed.

“It’s a hilarious comedy and it’s directed by Ron Chambers. I read the script and it was hilarious, so that’s why I wanted to be involved,” said the fifth-year drama major.

“This is my first main stage opportunity and it‘s been great. It’s vibrant, colourful and hilarious,” enthused second-year student Madeleine Taylor-Gregg, who plays the German mistress Heidi.

She is enjoying getting to know the other members of the cast

“Everybody laughs a lot,” she said.

“So it’s been a lot of fun,” she continued.

“I like the period costumes,” Smith added.

“I hope people will leave with sore sides from laughing so much,” he continued.

Tickets are available at the University Box Office, Monday to Friday, 12:30-3:30 p.m. or by calling 403?329?2616, and online at uleth.ca/tickets. Tickets are $18 regular, $13 senior/alumni, and $12 student.

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