Losing Louis at Woodley TheatreBy Lewis Rudd
September 27, 2010
Death might seem off limits for comedy but, as Lewis Rudd notes, there’s mirth in the macabre
The idea of seeking fun and frolics from a funeral sounds incredibly rare, if not unthinkable.
However, it appears the cast and crew at Woodley Theatre are prepared to go six feet under to find such humour, and its efforts will be available for all to see when it performs its take on Simon Mendes de Costa’s comedy Losing Louis this week.
The play, a West End hit, has seen Alison Steadman and Lynda Bellingham among its ranks and is set in a family bedroom in the 1950s and the present day.
Despite being set predominately on the day of Louis’ funeral – in the present – audiences will be taken on an interwoven journey of events which occurred over five decades and accumulate in the sad passing of the once-popular man.
Viewers will see the effects of Louis’ infidelity reverberating during both his own lifetime and in the aftermath of his death, and the reaction to secrets that refuse to remain buried as family members are reunited after years of separation.
The play, which members of Woodley Theatre will perform from tomorrow, is the first time the group has been on stage since its successful performance of Brian Clemens’ Strictly Murder back in July.
The group this time, though, will be under the directing eye of Sally Goodsall, who has previously led them through its take on plays such as Proof and Amadeus.
She says she was inspired to direct such a performance after watching it being played out in the capital a few years ago.
“It is a really good comedy,” she explains.
“I saw an original production in the West End about three years ago and it was with Alison Steadman and Lynda Bellingham playing the lead roles.
“I found it incredibly funny and left with the hopes of one day being able to work with the modern play, which was only written about five years ago.
“Basically I put it to the theatre that I wanted to work with Losing Louis and if it was OK provided there was a balance of plays being performed during the year.
“It was sampled at a preview evening back in January and it appeared to go down well.
“I hope the audience enjoys it.”
Speaking about the play, she adds:
“It’s basically set in two areas and takes place around Louis’ family and flashes back to when he was in demand and looking at the consequences of what he did in the 1950s.
“It is quite naughty in places and audiences are being asked to come along prepared because it is very funny.
“But it is just as poignant as it is funny.”
_ Losing Louis will be performed at The Oakwood Centre in Headley Road, Woodley, at 7.45pm on a daily basis from tomorrow until Saturday, October 2.
Tickets are priced at £9 for adults and £7 for children and concessions. These can be booked by calling the box office on (0118) 969 0827.
For further information about the play or the amateur theatre company, log on to www.woodleytheatre.org.