"Hay Fever"

Putney Arts Theatre Presents the Noel Coward classic


Putney Arts Theatre

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Winter may still be with us, but Putney Arts Theatre has a spring in its step as it prepares to perform ‘Hay Fever’ written by the godfather of wit and sophistication, Noel Coward.

In this delightful 1930’s romp you are invited to witness a not-so-quiet weekend in the company of the eccentric and bohemian Bliss family. Their bemused guests discover to their peril that nothing ever goes quite as predicted as hopes of a relaxing country break quickly descend into bawdy chaos. Partners are swapped with a rapidity which would be unbelieveable in the crudest porn movie, great emotional "scenes" are conjured out of minor incidents and, at the end, the guests sneak out to escape back to London while the family create yet another drama over the breakfast table.

Set in the Bliss family home in Cookham. The eccentric Blisses—Judith, a recently retired stage actress, David, a self-absorbed novelist, and their two equally unconventional children— live in a world where reality slides easily into fiction. Upon entering this world, the unfortunate weekend guests—a proper diplomat, a shy flapper, an athletic boxer, and a fashionable sophisticate—are repeatedly thrown into melodramatic scenes wherein their hosts profess emotions and react to situations that do not really exist. The resulting comedic chaos ends only when the tortured visitors tip-toe out the door.

Director Gigi Robarts says:
“The best of the comedy lies in the juxtaposition of those who treat life as a drama in which to assume and discard roles and those who actually believe that what is said and done is to be taken seriously and acted upon. For a brief moment it seems that the inappropriate pairings are to be replaced by rather more likely ones, but in the end the only grouping that matters is the Bliss family versus their victims. “

Noël Coward’s characteristically effervescent and sophisticated comedy of bad manners, fizzes with his unparalleled wit and biting satire. Noel Coward’s plays epitomise the sophisticated wit of the era between the two world wars, and Hay Fever about a family whose theatrical excesses torment a group of unsuspecting visitors, epitomises the Coward play. Inspired by a weekend he spent at the house of the actress Laurette Taylor, Coward wrote the play in just three days. Upon its 1925 London debut on August 6, it won praise from both audiences and critics. Considered by many to be cleverly constructed, wittily written, slightly cynical, and undeniably entertaining, the work contains all the elements that would help establish Coward’s reputation as a playwright.

Tues 1st – Sat 5th March

7.45pm Sat Mat 3pm

Tickets £7/ £5 on the opening night

£10 / £7 Wed- Sat

February 16, 2011

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