At The Riverfront Playhouse, bed-hopping is an art.
“You have to keep covered, keep moving, and don’t get caught in the wrong bed,” said Gene Scheffler, who is directing the British farce, “A Bedfull of Foreigners” at the Riverfront Playhouse in Aurora.
“I have great actors who I’m working with,” Scheffler continued. “They understand that the situation is completely insane and their part is to make it seem normal. They make my job easy.”
“A Bedfull of Foreigners,” by Dave Freeman, will be presented from Jan. 17 to Feb. 22 at The Riverfront Playhouse.
The play is set in a French village near the German border on the eve of a local festival. Stanley and Brenda are booked into the last available room in a small, rundown hotel. Shortly afterwards, the same room is rented to Claude.
Claude, however, is expecting not his wife, Helga, but his friend Simone, a French nightclub dancer. However, Helga turns up anyway. The couples go to painful lengths to cover their tracks, fearing discovery and the wrath of their spouses.
Mistaken identity, wife swapping and bed hopping add to the fun. Eventually, almost everyone is in the wrong bed, as people dressed as nuns and monks rush in and out and seductions and confrontations become the norm.
Due to the nature of this show, Riverfront does not recommend it for audience members under the age of 17.
Although several cast members will spend time running around stage in their underwear, Scheffler said that this aspect of the play did not deter people from auditioning for roles.
“Riverfront has done so many comedies and farces that we have a group of actors that just love doing them and keep coming back for more,” he said. “Even better is that they are encouraging new actors to come join the fun.”
Scheffler said that the chemistry among cast members was an important part of the audition process.
“I looked at the effort that each person gave and how they interacted with others,” he said. “The cast has to be there for each other or it doesn’t work.”
As for why people might enjoy the show, Scheffler has a simple explanation.
“It’s winter time, people should get out of the house and have a good time,” he said. “A night full of laughs does the heart good.”