Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine
Oct 272014
 

PREVIEWS BEGIN FOR JOE ORTON’S “WHAT THE BUTLER SAW” NOVEMBER 12, 2014, AT THE CTG / MARK TAPER FORUM

The Riotous Farce Features Frances Barber, Sarah Manton, Angus McEwan, Rod McLachlan, Charles Shaughnessy and Paxton Whitehead

Opens on Sunday, November 23

Cast of “What The Butler Saw” At Mark Taper Forum

L-R (back row): Rod McLachlan, Sarah Manton, Angus McEwan, (front row): Frances Barber, Paxton Whitehead and Charles Shaughnessy in rehearsal for Joe Orton’s “What the Butler Saw.” Directed by John Tillinger, “What the Butler Saw” will play at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum November 12 – December 21, 2014. Opening is set for November 23. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 628-2772. Photo by Craig Schwartz

Award-winning British playwright Joe Orton’s riotous farce “What the Butler Saw” begins previews Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at 8 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum. Opening is set for November 23 and performances continue through December 21.

The acclaimed cast includes Frances Barber (Ophelia in “Hamlet” and Marguerite in “Camille” at Royal Shakespeare Company), Sarah Manton (Broadway’s “One Man, Two Guvnors”), Angus McEwan (“The Duchess”), Rod McLachlan (Broadway’s “Holiday,” “The Government Inspector” and “Our Town”), Charles Shaughnessy (best known for CBS’ “The Nanny”) and Paxton Whitehead (Broadway’s “Importance of Being Earnest,” “My Fair Lady” and “Noises Off”).

“What the Butler Saw” is directed by farce veteran and Orton expert John Tillinger, who previously directed the Orton plays “Loot” and “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” in repertory at the Taper (1987). Set design is by James Noone, costume design is by Laurie Churba Kohn, lighting design is by Ken Billington and John McKernon, sound design is by John Gromada, wigs and hair are by Carol F. Doran, casting is by Mark B. Simon, CSA, and the production stage manager is David S. Franklin.

Set in the consulting room of a private psychiatric clinic, the action begins when the very proper Dr. Prentice (played by Shaughnessy) is interrupted by his wife (Barber) just as he is about to seduce a beautiful, young woman who is applying for a job as a secretary (Manton). As his botched efforts to conceal his actions spiral outrageously out of control, Orton ferociously skewers psychiatry, religion, marriage, morality, government and definitions of gender.

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