Theatre UCF kicks off the 2012 summer season with the bedroom farce No Sex Please, We’re British. The comedy by Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot is a riotous romp for audiences, but also a great learning opportunity for UCF students.
No Sex Please, We’re British is directed by Theatre UCF department chair Christopher Niess. The show runs June 7-17 in the Black Box Theatre.
As in most farces, the plot is simple: a straight-laced newlywed couple orders Scandinavian glassware and but instead receives an unwelcomed delivery of pornography. Farcical antics ensue as they try to ditch the scandalous contents from friends, parents, bosses and the law, and try to stop the persistent proprietor.
No Sex Please, We’re British is an active play, with doors slamming, characters falling down, and high-stake action. The cast has just three weeks of rehearsal to pull together all of the blocking and timing, but also has another skill to master in that time: Because the characters are British, the cast members have to perfect their dialects.
“It would be such a different play if it weren’t in dialect,” said Maggie Langlais, who is playing Frances Hunter, one of the lead roles. “A lot of the comedy stems from the accents, because the British accent is interpreted as being more reserved. It wouldn’t be as funny if it were ‘No Sex Please, We’re Italian.’”
“Teaching young American students a new dialect is almost trickier than teaching a new language,” said dialect coach Kate Ingram. “They are reading scripted words on the page, trying to act believably, but they are also being asked to speak differently—this can throw an actor—‘I don’t sound like myself, I’m not sure I’m believable.’”.
“I always remind the actor that the character needs to speak this way! That’s the fun part of working on dialect. We try to find some time away from the on-your-feet-rehearsal business, so that the actors can slow down and live inside the words and remember why they are saying those words.”
Whit Emerson plays the role of Leslie Bromhead, the district manager of a bank. He has one of the few upper-class roles in the show. “Working with Kate not only helped my dialect, but it helped me develop the character. Everyone else in the play is working class, but maybe Leslie went to a private school or talked like Winston Churchill.”
“I can’t read the script without an accent anymore,” said Kristin Shoffner. “The dialect provides a rhythm for the words. It becomes like a song that we are dancing to on stage.” Kristin is cast in the role of Eleanor Hunter.
Theatre UCF is on the UCF campus near the intersection of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail in east Orlando. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays.
To purchase tickets or for ticket information call the box office at 407-823-1500. Standard tickets are $17 ($15 for seniors; $10 for students) and group rates are available. It is recommended to purchase tickets in advance, available through the Theatre UCF box office. UCF offers accommodations to make the theatre more accessible to patrons with disabilities—for assistance, please call the box office in advance.
Summer at a glance:
No Sex Please, We’re British
By Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot
Directed by Christopher Niess
June 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 8 p.m.
June 10, 17 at 2 p.m.
Black Box Theatre
Price: Standard $17, Senior $15, Student $10; Group discounts available
Subscriptions: $40 standard, $36 senior, $20 student
Address: 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando
Box Office Phone: 407-823-1500
Box Office Hours: Tuesday through Friday: noon to 5 p.m. and 2 hours before performances
For more information about Theatre UCF, visit http://theatre.ucf.edu.
Contact: Heather Gibson, Theatre UCF; [email protected]; 407-823-1732
Theatre UCF is a program in the School of Performing Arts at the University of Central Florida. The department’s graduate and undergraduate programs focus on providing a competitive edge to theatre artists seeking professional theatre careers, as well as to future creative intellectual leaders. The program offers theatrical presentations year-round to the public at the east Orlando campus. For more information about attending performances call 407-823-1500 or visit www.theatre.ucf.edu.