What The Butler Saw
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A comedy by Joe Orton

Directed by Jack Snell

9th-14th June 2008 at 7.45pm


Synopsis:

Set in the world of a fashionable London psychiatrists clinic the normally sterile surroundings become a bedlam of gender confusion, mistaken identities, clothes strewn asunder and sexual intrigue.

When the less reputable Dr. Prentice takes a very medical approach to interviewing an aspiring secretary he sets in motion a series of events that make it harder and harder to hide his true intentions.


The Cast:

Doctor Prentice
:
Don Gent
Doctor Rance
:
Andrew Wyatt
Geraldine Barclay
:
Kathryn Oscier
Nicholas Beckett
:
Karl Brown
Mrs Prentice
:
Veronica Ryder
Sergeant Match
:
Noel Davenport

Review:

by Linda Kirkman

IF this play is any indication of the mind state of playwright Joe Orton, the fact that he was battered to death by his male lover hardly seems surprising.

Set in a psychoanalyst’s private clinic, it is farce gone mad. There is much undressing, cross-dressing and rushing through doors, but what takes it to a different level is that Orton’s obvious subversiveness pervades his entire script, witty though it is, and brings a disturbing edge to the humour that makes for slightly uncomfortable watching.

The subject matter is somewhat unusual too, covering - among other things - rape, incest, homosexuality and nymphomania. Yet for all that this is a hugely enjoyable production, stylishly directed by Jack Snell and with strong, larger-than-life and well-timed performances from his excellent cast – Don Gent (Dr Prentice), Kathryn Oscier (Geraldine Barclay), Veronica Ryder (Mrs Prentice), James Collins (Nicholas Beckett), Noel Davenport (Sergeant Match) and, almost stealing the show, Andrew Whyatt as Dr Rance, a government psychiatrist who is clearly as barking mad as the inmates of the clinic he has arrived to check up on.

As always with the club, the set and props are first-rate too, adding that all-important sense of realism. 

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