MINDARIE resident Peter Boylen is appearing in a fast and frenetic farce delivering the usual mockery, embarrassment and absurdity – resulting in laughs aplenty – at Limelight Theatre this month.
Written by master-of-farce Ray Cooney and directed by Susan Vincent, It Runs In The Family is set in a hospital common room at Christmas time and focuses on self-important neurologist Dr Mortimore.
He is just about to give the lecture of his career and has a knighthood depending on it when a former nurse bursts in with the news he is the father of an 18-year-old son.
And that emotionally unbalanced son, under arrest for drunk driving, is now in the hospital’s reception looking for his long-lost parent.
Cooney is a veteran playwright, renowned for his successful farces, including Run For Your Wife, Charlie Girl, Move Over Mrs Markham, Wife Begins at Forty, Out of Order and Not Now, Darling, which have been translated into more than 40 languages.
In 2005, he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to drama.
Boylen plays Police Sergeant Connolly, someone who wants to do his job correctly.
“He expects people to cooperate – but this is not the case and he unfortunately appears to get the continual run around with conflicting stories,” he said.
“Connolly becomes increasingly exasperated with all those around him as he endeavours to determine the truth.
“The main challenge is ensuring the timing for all the comedic moments are perfect because there are so many things happening at any one time.
“I also need to continually get more and more worked up as my character tries to sort out what is exactly happening.”
Involved in theatre for the past seven years, Boylen first started participating as part of the Men’s Project, which was designed to draw more men into theatre.
He has since performed with Playlovers, Stirling, Ellenbrook and Limelight Theatres in a variety of pantomimes, musicals, dramas and comedies.
“It Runs In The Family appealed because it was a chance to be part of another comedy with quality performers I’ve worked with before,” Boylen said.
“It was also an opportunity to work with director Susan Vincent again – she really knows how to bring out the best in her performers and en
Vincent said It Runs In The Family has the usual assortment of “farcical nuts” running around, goining in and out of doors and mistaking everybody for someone else.
“I chose to direct the play because I love Ray Cooney’s writing,” she said. “Last August, I directed Cooney’s Run For Your Wife which had a successful season at Limelight Theatre.
“So I decided to direct another Cooney farce this year with Gordon Park again playing the lead role.”
It Runs In The Family plays at 8pm April 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29 with a 2pm matinee on April 23.