"Rumors" Ready

Rumors (yes, it’s the American way of spelling the word) was American playwright Neil Simon’s first – and only - farce.

The play opens as Ken and Chris Gorman (Paul Karton & Kim Kelly) are the first arrivals at the 10th wedding anniversary party of Charlie Brock, the Deputy Mayor of New York and his wife, Myra.

Unfortunately, things are not going quite to plan. The kitchen staff has disappeared, Myra is missing, and Charlie has accidentally shot himself. Twice.

Chris calls Charlie's doctor just as the doorbell rings.

In come Lenny and Claire Ganz (Andrew Thomson & Blair Cunningham) who have just been in a car accident. Claire is convinced Charlie or Myra are having an affair.

Lenny declares they should call the police, but Ken disagrees. Before they can agree on anything, another car shows up. Claire opens the door to let in Ernie Cusack, a psychologist, (Scott Goodacre) and his eccentric wife Cookie (Sierra Phillips).

And that’s just the first 15 minutes! According to theatre critic John Bellchambers “Rumors is fast, furious and hilariously funny!” (Also in the cast are Luke Kaalim, Adriana Nunez, Flynn Edwards and David Wicks.

Director Shea Wicks says she loves directing Neil Simon plays.

“This is the third Simon play I’ve done – two years ago it was The Odd Couple for Woy Woy Little Theatre (which I directed originally about 20 years before). Before that, Come Blow Your Horn.

“His plays are always funny – not only do the audience enjoy lots of laughs but the actors always get a kick out of Simon’s absurd comedic turns.”

The playwright said he wrote Rumors as he was going through a difficult time in his life.

“I really was in the mood to sort of go back and write just out-and-out funny, because it's what I felt I needed. So I thought it would be fine just to go into rehearsal with a comedy, with a farce, even though they are the hardest to write,” said Simon in an interview when the show first opened on Broadway.

''A farce is relentless,'' he said. ''There are so many more obligations. It's relentless in its needs for plot twists, and to keep the comedy going. And so I thought I'd see how far I could go with this thing, because it deals with a great deal of plot.

“But I rarely use plot. I use character development. In all other stories, the characters just seem to move to the next place, as life would have them move. But in the plot in a farce, you move them. The writer's in control all the way.''

The director admitted rehearsals have been a dream as the cast is just so switched onto Simon’s brand of humour.

“We know Rumors is going to have a lot of happy people leaving the Peninsula Theatre at the end of the show,” said director Shea.

Ticket sales for the ten performance season are going strong – already about two-thirds of the available number of tickets have been sold – which is a good indication there’ll be several sold out performances.

Performance Dates: Fridays @ 8pm May 26, June 2 & 9. Saturday @ 2pm June 10. Saturdays @ 8pm May 27, June 3 & 10. Sundays @ 2pm May 28, June 4 & 11.

Bookings can only be made on-line on the Woy Woy Little Theatre website: woywoylt.com.au

Prices: Adults $30, Concession $25, Children up to 16 $8.

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