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Run For Your Wife at Limelight Theatre

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Double wife, double life, double strife in comedy farce
Run For Your Wife, Limelight Theatre, comedy, farce, Ray Cooney, performing arts, humour, romp, laugh, slapstick
John Smith (Gordon Park, centre) finds himself in a spot of bother with Barbara (Susannah Bell) and Mary (Christine Smith) in Run For Your Wife.

The most successful comedy farce of all time comes to Limelight Theatre this July and August. Written by Ray Cooney and directed Susan Vincent, Run For Your Wife had a nine-year run in London's West End after debuting in 1983.

The fast-paced comedy follows taxi driver John Smith, a man with two wives and two apartments, who juggles his life between the two homes on a tight schedule. A successful, if tired, bigamist for three years, John intervenes in a mugging and suffers a mild concussion and is taken home to wrong wife, on the wrong day.

The situation quickly gets out of control as he tries to cover up he is a bigamist to avoid his wives finding out, while two detectives investigating the mugging become suspicious of the two different addresses for him registered at the hospital.

Cooney is a veteran playwright, renowned for his successful farces, including 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.

Run For Your Wife, Limelight Theatre, comedy, farce, Ray Cooney, performing arts, humour, romp, laugh, slapstick
Barbara (Susannah Bell) falls at the feet of Detective Sergeant Porterhouse (Peter Boylen) in Run For Your Wife.

Ray Cooney has earned an international reputation as the finest living writer of this form of theatre," Susan said. "Run For Your Wife is a fast-paced, slapstick, laugh-a-minute romp that leaves you in stitches and begging for more. The main challenge is the split-second timing of the actors and movements between the two apartments."

A professionally trained actress and singer from the UK, Susan trained at the Carona London Stage School and was a pop singer in the 1960s, recording three singles on the Decca label. She came to WA in 1974 to work for Frank Baden Powell at his old-time music hall and 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 at the 2013 Hills Festival of Theatre for her role in A Candle on The Table. Earlier this year, Susan directed a sold-out season of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None at Garrick Theatre.

"Run For Your Wife appealed because script is near perfect in its construction and still very, very funny," she said. "There are also plenty of twists and turns along the way."

Run For Your Wife, Limelight Theatre, comedy, farce, Ray Cooney, performing arts, humour, romp, laugh, slapstick
Gordon Park and Christine Smith are appearing in Run For Your Wife, the most successful comedy farce of all time.

Gordon Park plays John Smith. "His two wives are completely oblivious to each other, despite the fact they are practically neighbours," he said. "As with all farces, the challenge comes with getting the timing and pace absolutely right."

Acting for the past 26 years, Gordon came to WA in 1988 and has mainly worked with Limelight Theatre but has also performed with Stirling, Playlovers, Old Mill and Marloo Theatres. "I saw Run For Your Wife some years ago and, having worked with director Susan Vincent before, I knew her great talent for directing comedy farces would result in a very funny and enjoyable production," he said.

Run For Your Wife plays at 8pm July 28, 29 30, August 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13. Tickets are $21, $18 concession book at www.limelighttheatre.com.au or on 0499 954 016 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday. Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.

Run For Your Wife, Limelight Theatre, comedy, farce, Ray Cooney, performing arts, humour, romp, laugh, slapstick
The cast of Run For Your Wife: Gordon Park, Christine Smith, Andrew Govey, Susannah Bell, RJ Smolders and Peter Boylen.
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Why? It's the most successful comedy farce of all time and written by someone recognised as the absolute best playwright in this genre.
When: 8pm July 28, 29 30, August 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13
Phone: 0499 954 016
Where: Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo
Cost: $21, $18 concession
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