As in all productions, Black Comedy starts with a blackout. Then the characters enter and start to talk. They admire the beauty of the room, move around, make some drinks, and kiss each other. Then there is a ‘blackout’ and the stage lights come on. Confused? So were they.
Setting place during blackout and staged in the light (and occasionally vice versa), Black Comedy follows a disastrous gathering thrown by artist Brindsley Miller as he tries to sell his (rather breakable-looking) sculpture to a millionaire German art dealer. Other guests include his fiancé Carol, Carol’s ‘monster mother’ Colonel Melkett, dozy old neighbor Miss Furnival, neighbour Harold Gorringe, and an appearance from Brinsley’s mistress, Clea. Things go from bad to worse as Brinsley attempts to cover up his various mishaps and mistakes, amounting to a classically farcical finish.
The play was a riotous farce of stumbles, trips, bumps, spills, and other mishaps. The cast had all mastered the art of pretending-you-can’t-see-when-you-can and almost all of them were a comic delight. It has to be said however that some were better than others. The actor who played camper-than-Christmas Gordon was a true delight, whereas the actress who played Clea needed to up her tempo, characterization, and energy in order match the rest. None of them were outstanding, however.
On the whole though, the show was good clean British fun and generally hit all the right notes. Despite not being a particularly unique production, it was good for a bit of light comedy.