It was the last night of PLNU’s rendition of “See How They Run,” a British farce by Philip King. Salomon Theatre teemed with excitement Saturday night at 7 p.m. as about 60 people of all ages came in to see the comedy, directed by professor of communication Ronda Winderl. Music from the 1940’s played in the background, befitting of the 1940’s English setting of the play. From the moment the lights dimmed and Ida, the Cockney maid — played by freshman Katie Emma Filby — came on the stage, the audience was in for an eventful night full of laughter.
The acting of most of the performers on stage was of a good and satisfactory nature. Jack French, who played the Corporal Clive Winton, stole the show followed closely by Samantha Peterson (Penelope Toop) and Alyssa Salter (Miss Skillon). Katie Emma Filby’s rendition of Ida was excellent, tying all the performances together. Although the British accents were not always on par, one quickly let that slide due to the engaging script, engaging acting, and the great directing. The dedication and commitment the actors gave to each of their characters was superb.
The most excellent aspect of the play was the blocking — a testament to Winderl’s impeccable directing. Actors fell to the ground and into other character’s arms, jumped over couches, and ran in and out of doors and through the stage. Each physical interaction sequence was well-choreographed and performed giving a sense of seamlessness and ease. The movements around the stage felt natural, with excellent transitions.
The quaint and warm set, depicting a traditional English home, featured doors on the right and left sides, a fireplace on the left, a couch, flight of stairs, and much more. The costumes, designed by Valerie Henderson, were befitting of the time period and suited each character. Henderson employed bright colors and visually stimulating clothing, except for the vicar’s suits, which had to be exclusively black. The homey lighting, designed by Luke Olson, also gave a feeling that there was actually an outdoors with the veranda lights.
“See How They Run,” is a play about misidentifications, folly and silly mistakes. Although it was set more than 70 years ago, the way the two-hour play lampooned human beings’ mistakes and misadventures invited the audience to laugh at the silly nature of everyday life. It also invited some interesting commentary on religion and the relationship between war, entertainment and the faithful. The sheer amount of physical comedy incited applause, shouts and laughter from the audience members after each act. The combination of witty comments, physical comedy, and good acting made for a delightful experience.