April 10th, 2004


Move Over Mrs. Markham

is a funny 1972 British farce by Ray Cooney and John Chapman. I was reading it, and toward the end parts of it got so complicated that I lost track of it a bit. On stage I don't think this would be a problem.

The premise of the play is that several pairs of lovers are looking to use an apartment on a certain night. This includes a husband and wife (Henry and Linda) who are each looking to liaison with their own new flames.

All this action disrupts the relationship of the couple (the Markhams) that actually owns the apartment and is supposed to be OUT for the night. In the end, the disruption turns out to be a good thing, since both husband and wife reach a new understanding.

The second act turns on the arrival of a proper British country-woman who must NOT, for financial reasons, be allowed to know what is really going on, even after the other people are starting to understand what is happening. I was glad to see her arrive, because the initial premise looked like it would have run out after one act.

Here is a dialog sample. Linda is lying to her neglectful husband, telling him she is going out to a charity function. Joanna, her friend, is in on the secret:

Henry: Splendid. Don't exhaust yourself.

Linda: It's all in a good cause.

Henry: Really, what?

Joanna: Underdeveloped Areas.

Rhyme of the day:

Farce spins lies
To frightful size.