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It Runs In The Family at Limelight Theatre

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Farce at its finest delivers fun, fun, fun
It Runs In The Family, Limelight Theatre, comedy, farce, Ray Cooney, performing arts, stage, play, humour, fun
The cast of It Runs In The Family: Chris Juckes, left, June Adams, Kerry Goode, Les Lee, Catherine Dunn, Peter Boylen, Colleen Hopkins, Gordon Park, Fiona Forster and, at front, Roger Oakes and Oliver Bourne.

A fast and frenetic farce delivering the usual mockery, embarrassment and absurdity – resulting in laughs aplenty – comes to Limelight Theatre this April. 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.

"It Runs In The Family has the usual assortment of farcical nuts running around, in and out of doors mistaking everybody for someone else," Susan said. "Dr Mortimore tries to fend off an ex-lover, punkish illegitimate son and various other lunatics so he may, at last, deliver his lecture at an international conference.

"Aside from being physically demanding for the actors, the main challenge is designing the set so four cast members can hang off a window ledge, swinging from the guttering."

It Runs In The Family, Limelight Theatre, comedy, farce, Ray Cooney, performing arts, stage, play, humour, fun
Ray Cooney's It Runs In The Family features Kerry Goode as Matron and Chris Juckes as Dr Hubert Bonney.

A professionally trained actress and singer from the UK, Susan studied at the Carona London Stage School before moving to WA 1974 to work for Frank Baden Powell at his old-time music hall. She then had an 11-year stint with the WA Opera Company before moving to Kalgoorlie where she worked for ABC radio and a local television station.

Over the years, Susan has acted, directed, stage-managed and worked on sets for the Graduate Dramatic Society, Playlovers, Goldfields Repertory and the Old Mill, Bindoon, Melville, Stirling, Limelight, Marloo and Garrick Theatres. With many awards for acting and directing, she was most recently named best actress in a musical for her role in Blitz!, also scoring a Finley Award nomination.

"I chose It Runs In The Family to direct because I love Ray Cooney's writing," Susan 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, Limelight Theatre, comedy, farce, Ray Cooney, performing arts, stage, play, humour, fun
Dr Mortimore (Gordon Park) is surprised to learn he has a son, Leslie (Oliver Bourne), from former nurse Jane Tate (Fiona Forster) in It Runs In The Family.

Oliver Bourne plays Leslie, an irrational and irritable individual. "One of those traits I have and one is my polar opposite, so playing Leslie is both a challenge and a breeze!" he said. "One thing is for sure... it's always a roaring good time. I have never had such issues trying to keep a straight face while reading out my own dialogue.

"Leslie has a very deep voice… I, on the other hand, do not. I will certainly find it challenging to keep my voice at such a low, menacing tone... but don't tell anyone! After reading the script for It Runs In The Family, I was sold on just how hilarious it was I am looking forward to channelling my Monty Python in the presence of a superb cast."

It Runs In The Family plays at 8pm April 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29 with a 2pm matinee April 23. Tickets are $21, $18 concession – book at or on 0499 954 016 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday. Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.

It Runs In The Family, Limelight Theatre, comedy, farce, Ray Cooney, performing arts, stage, play, humour, fun
Gordon Park, left, Peter Boylen and Chris Juckes deliver farce at its finest in Ray Cooney's It Runs In The Family.

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Why? Farces are always plenty of fun and provide a plethora of belly laughs – and this one is written by a playwright regarded as the “master of farce”.
When: 8pm April 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29; 2pm April 23
Phone: 0499 954 016
Where: Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo
Cost: $21, $18 concession
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