If there's one thing that English playwrights excel at, it's insanity, debauchery and incestuous intrigue. Their cooking is equally perverse, but not nearly as enjoyable.
In the grand tradition of British insanity, Theatre Junction opens its 2002â?„2003 season with Joe Horton's comedy of errors, What the Butler Saw--a raucous tribute to just how fun a mental asylum piled high with over the top sexual antics can be.
Dr. Prentice's (Martin Evans) troubles begin when an interview for a secretarial position at his mental asylum goes beyond the bounds of professional curiosity. With Geraldine Barclay (Elana McMurtry) about to have her "credentials" thoroughly examined, Dr. Prentice's wife (Shauna Baird) returns home. What ensues is a series of mistaken identities, missing clothing and, among other things, the search for the private parts of the late Sir Winston Churchill.
Frantic does not even begin to describe the pace of this production. However, from a playwright whose life ended rather theatrically through a hammer blow by a jilted lover/collaborator in a fit of professional jealousy, the outrageous is to be expected.
Director Mark Lawes, founder and artistic director of Theatre Junction, has assembled an excellent cast that moves Butler from a single mistake to a broadening web of conjecture and misunderstanding with a speed that leaves the audience struggling for air between fits of laughter.
Sex in a psychiatric hospital, Freud would have been proud.