Nagoya Players:

Nagoya Players - What The Butler Saw

Date: Saturday, June 18th, 2005 Time: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Speaker: Nagoya Players

This will be performed Saturday, June 18, 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday June 19, 2 and 6 p.m. Advance tickets from or Aichi Arts Centre Playguide, 052-972-0430, or buy tickets at the door.

The Nagoya Players, one of Japan's leading English-language community theatre groups, celebrate their 30th birthday by bringing you Joe Orton's hilarious farce What the Butler Saw. "Surely we're all mad people, and they/Whom we think are, are not." This quotation from the anonymous Jacobean drama The Revenger's Tragedy, which Orton used as an epigraph to What the Butler Saw, points to an insistent theme of the play: the arbitrariness of the line society draws between normal and deviant. "What is it to be nothing else but mad?" we may well ask as in the course of the show a psychiatrist's clinic descends into bedlam, and an apparently psychotic government inspector casually certifies the bewildered but sane people who happen to be on the premises.

Orton's wickedly funny satire was first performed in 1969, two years after the author's untimely death. It shocked the theatre-going public of that time with its gender-bending antics and caustic portrayal of the unseemly private lives of seemingly respectable pillars of society. Since then Orton's play has become, as a reviewer for Britain's Sunday Telegraph put it, "accepted as a comedy classic of English literature". It is filled with coruscating one-liners that reveal Orton as a worthy heir of Oscar Wilde. It is packed with mishaps, changes of fortune, delightful twists, and innumerable turns.

From the moment the psychiatrist Dr. Prentice instructs a prospective secretary to undress, his afternoon begins hurtling out of control. Each of the six colourful characters contributes in their own hilarious way to this breakneck farce, losing the plot, their wits or even their clothes as they journey towards a startling climax.

The Nagoya Players' production of What the Butler Saw is directed by Oliver Millingham and features the combined talents of Cameron Smith (Dr Prentice), Michael Kruse (Dr Rance), Patti Gage (Ms Prentice), Kelly Forrester (Geraldine Barclay), Jack Ananda (Sergeant Match), and Sandy Cumming (Nicholas Beckett). The Nagoya Players, from humble beginnings in an English professor's back garden, have gone on to stage first-rate productions of a wide variety of plays over the past thirty years, from classics to contemporary works. The group's membership consists of Japanese and expatriates, trained actors and talented novices. Educational materials based on this play will be available for English teachers.

Organization: Nagoya Players

Cost: 2,000 yen (students 1,800 yen) advance, or 2,500 yen (students 2,000) on door

Venue: Aichi Arts Centre Mini Theatre, Nagoya

Location: Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan


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