Laugh riot erupts at Playhouse opener

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Pictured in a scene from the chaotic Bedfull of Foreigners are Debora Hale, as Simone, the exotic dancer and Jamie Williams, as Stanley, the innocent hotel guests who finds himself in the middle of it all.

Roxanne Delage

CORNWALL, Ontario - In its usual side-splitting style, Upper Canada Playhouse kicked off its 2014 summer season, over the weekend, with the hilarious comedy, A Bedfull of Foreigners, by Dave Freeman.

It really is no wonder why the Morrisburg theatre is famous for keeping over 43,000 people filling its seats all year long. Set in a hotel on the French/German border during a popular village festival weekend, this season-opener follows the misadventures of married couple, Stanley and Brenda, as they take the last room available in a run-down hotel, while on vacation, only to find out that they’ve been double-booked, and must share their accommodations with total strangers.

What ensues can only be described as chaotic, as adultery, frilly lingerie, bed hopping, cover-ups, compromising positions and a temperamental radiator (don’t ask) drive the plot.

“This will be like old home week for this cast since they’ve worked together off and on for years,” said Donnie Bowes, director. “I’ll have my work cut out for me. They’ll be a handful for sure. Audiences had better buckle their seat belts!”

The performers are a who’s who of some of the most talented to ever grace the Playhouse stage.

Jamie Williams, (Bedtime Stories, Run For Your Wife, A Nice Family Gathering, A Christmas Carol), plays in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time Stanley, who is literally left running about in circles dealing with a series of uncanny events and bizarre characters;  Alison Lawrence (Wife Begins at Forty, Self-Help and On Golden Pond) is Brenda, his not-so-innocent-after-all wife, who finds her own trouble to get in to; Marshall Button (known locally and nationally for his iconic mill-worker, Lucien) as the Karak, the wise-cracking-beer-guzzling hotel porter; Timm Hughes (Hotbed Hotel, Dear Santa and Murder at the Howard Johnson’s) is the lustful and quirky hotel manager, Heinz; Debra Hale (The Amorous Ambassador, The Sensuous Senator and Perfect Wedding) is the sultry, exotic dancer, Simone; Shaun Clarke (No Sex Please, We’re British) is the not-who-he-appears-to-be Claude, and Kate Gordon (Whose Wives Are They Anyway) as his suspecting wife Helga, who find their own share of mayhem as the unexpected room-mates.  

Let’s not forget the fabulous work by set designer, Sean Free, who’s design is integral to the success of many of the visual gags, and particular, had his work cut out for him in creating a most unusual effect.

I won’t give it away.  

There is still plenty of time to check out this classic comedy which runs June 5 to 19. Contact The Playhouse for more information at 613-543-3713/ 1-877-550-3650 or visit

Organizations: Morrisburg theatre

Geographic location: Ontario, Golden Pond

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