The British sex farce has an established pattern. This one begins in a doctor’s office. The man in the white coat is interviewing a prospective secretary.
This leads to a surprising command.
...which leads to a request.
But this isn’t your standard sex farce. Playwright Joe Orton was a brilliant prankster with a flair for living dangerously – and he didn’t live long. You get a sense of that in this play, which sends the story in crazy directions. There’s also lots of gender inversion -- men who put on dresses, and women passing as men -- with innuendo every which way. Orton also loved to debunk authority… anyone in a position of power turns out to be barely sane, if that. Like that doctor in the first scene, who finally gets his prospective secretary to the sofa.
So be prepared to giggle at this farce. But you’ll probably wince, too. Orton believed “comedy is a weapon.”
Jeff Hudson, KXJZ News.
"What The Butler Saw" continues at the B Street Theatre through February 25th.