The Imperficity of Love


By Claire Del Sorbo

College is a time when students begin to experience real, meaningful and intimate relationships with others. However, one should not rely on She’s The Man as an accurate depiction of a college dating scene. Real relationships are messy. Some may still be saddled by the weight of previous partners. Some partners bicker needlessly, while others never quite move past the honeymoon phase, which ultimately, is quite damaging. This past weekend, The Mimes and Mummers presented Alan Ayckbourn’s “Bedroom Farce” in Collins Auditorium, a play that illustrates common problems in modern relationships. These kind of idiosyncratic bonds illustrate what really happens behind closed doors.

“Bedroom Farce,” directed by Mike Flanagan and produced by Michelle Corr, FCRH ’17, depicts four dysfunctional couples at different stages of their marriages: the long-wedded Ernest (Declan Murphy, FCRH ’18), his wife Delia (Vanessa Agovida, FCRH ’16) and their son Trevor (David Schillinger, FCRH ’16) in a hilariously miserable union with the bi-curious Susanna (Sherilynn “Sheri” DeNucci, FCRH ’18), Trevor’s ex-girlfriend Jan (Casey DeMas, FCRH ’19), the bedridden Nick (John Schebe, FCRH ’18). There is also an ostensibly normal couple, Malcom (Luis Gomez, FCRH ’18) and Kate (Katie Dolan, FCRH ’18). The plot unfolds exactly as the title suggests — as a farce.

Taking place in the 1970s, Bedroom Farce is not nearly as antiquated as other farcical comedies of yore, such as “The Importance of Being Earnest.” However, some of the jokes and gags are a dated, especially the ones about landline telephones. Still, it translates somewhat well to our 21st century technological phenomena. “Yeah, it’s definitely a bit…old in its humor, but while working on it I was able to draw parallels between my life and the show, despite that fact that I’m not British, married or living in the 1970s,” said cast member Casey DeMas, FCRH ’19, about this overarching theme of relatability.

The best way to describe Bedroom Farce’s humor is Desperate Housewives meets Monty Python. It is a clever analysis of the subject of marriage with irreverent, somewhat vulgar humor, attached to every situation. “This type of humor resounds with college students, because it gives a lighthearted look at something people take too seriously,” cast member John Schebe, FCRH ’18, said.

Murphy and Agovida as Ernest and Delia are the production’s anchoring couple. Eccentric and befuddled, they are the breath of fresh air between the conundrums of the other three couples. Between the two of them they have the best lines in the show.

Equally enjoyable is DeNucci as the neurotic Susanna. One of the play’s best running gags is her poorly-timed self-confidence mantras: “I have confidence in me. People find me attractive.”

While Bedroom Farce is, at its core, comedy, it is also important to remember that not all marriages are perfect. “They all have some issue they try and deal with, and the show pokes at that in a satirical way,” said Sheri DeNucci, FCRH ’18. Perhaps we can learn a lesson from Bedroom Farce, and attempt to enjoy the simplicity of an intimate relationship with another person, rather than focusing on making every microcosm of the relationship perfect, which is, as hysterically shown, a futile effort.