Most farces, especially British faces, are essentially the same: frenetic energy, physical humor, and mistaken identity. There’s little you can change besides the names, sets, and costumes… right?
Peter Shaffer finds another way to spice up the genre with lighting. Or should I say without lighting?
When it comes to the characters in Shaffer’s Black Comedy, they are in dark when the stage is lit and vice versa. As the show starts, the lights go out and we hear the entire opening scene done in complete blackout. While it is funny to hear actors speak and move about without being able to see, it is more amazing to realize they are navigating a stage without any light. As someone that’s worked on stage before, it’s quite the task. After a “blown fuse” the lights finally go up, but the characters act as if the opposite has occurred. It results in a zany twist for No Rules Theatre’s first show at the Signature Theatre in Shirlington, where the company will reside for the next three years.
The result is a show packed with non-stop laughs that will have you rolling in the aisles by the night’s end.