A Bed Full of Foreigners
Customs House, South Shields, and touring
Going to see A Bed Full of Foreigners I expected a totally OTT bawdy farce, so many people on the same chain of thought will not be disappointed as that is what you're going to get!
Set in a rundown hotel on the German border, this play follows a crazy night that ensues when five guests arrive and cause mayhem for the staff and themselves. Mistaken identity, wife swapping, bed hopping, a monk, a nun and a deadly radiator all provide the off the wall happenings of this crazy holiday spot.
Dave Freeman's play has the feel of 'Allo 'Allo, Fawlty Towers and the Carry On movies. It is, however, as sadly dated as those classics too. When the slapstick frantic situations reach their peak it is entertaining but when it comes to moments to punch out the plot and show some character development it falls short.
Most of the OTT humour and comedy comes from a cast who are adding as much as they can to the piece, working extra hard to get over as many jokes as they can, scripted or not. A stand out performance comes from Damian Williams who shows great comic ability as well as superb physicality. The audience lapped up his ability to take them in and play with them as he saw fit.
Another addition to the comedy line up seemed to be believe it or not, the set! Which seemed to wobbly nearly as much as my double chins, giving the cast that extra little tool to keep the crowd laughing.
If you like your humour way over the top with simple gags, then give it a whirl: if you like your jokes a bit more sophisticated or dry then this is one bed you won't be jumping into. A silly bit of fun and an easy night out is what you'll find in A Bed Full of Foreigners!
Reviewer: Wayne Miller