Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts and Masquers theatre group present “What the Butler Saw,” a comedy by Joe Orton, in the Wallman Hall Theatre over two weekends in April. Performances are planned for at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, 2 p.m. Sunday, April 22; and 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 26, 27 and 28. For tickets, visit the call (304) 367-4240 or visit www.fairmontstate.edu/tickets. This show is not appropriate for young children.

Directed by Dr. John O’Connor, the show is the story of Dr. Prentice, a psychiatric doctor in an exclusive, private clinic, who attempts to interview and seduce an attractive would-be secretary, Geraldine Barclay.  Surprised by his nymphomaniac, alcohol besotted wife, he hides the girl. 

The affairs multiply as Mrs. Prentice, who has been seduced and blackmailed by young bellhop Nicholas Beckett, promises him the secretarial post. When government inspector Dr. Rance arrives, followed closely by the intrepid Sergeant Match of Scotland Yard, drugs, alcohol, undressing and cross-dressing lead the charge. The action spirals out of control, culminating in a final tableau revealing “the missing parts of Winston Churchill” held aloft as the curtain falls.

Senior Theatre major Jay Lindsay from Morgantown plays Dr. Prentice; senior Theatre major Sami Dull from Shepherdstown plays Geraldine Barclay; senior Theatre major Cecily Collins from Birch River plays Mrs. Prentice; freshman Theatre major Tyler Johnson from Charleston plays Nicholas Beckett; sophomore Theatre major Brandon Lee from Anchorage, Alaska, plays Dr. Rance; and senior Exercise Science major, U.S. Navy and Afghanistan conflict veteran Walter Cyphers from Moatsville plays Sergeant Match.

The London premiere at the Queen’s Theatre in 1969 starred Coral Browne and Sir Ralph Richardson. The New York production later won the Obie Award as Best Foreign Play of The Season.

“Hilarious, outrageous…It dazzles! …Wonderfully verbal, toying with words as if they were firecrackers.”- The New York Times

“Brilliant, witty, the funniest show so far this season.” - NBC TV

“Madly antic humor.”- Associated Press

“Hilarious…Joe Orton’s best comedy.”- CBS TV