Funtington Players are Disposing of The Body
and live on Freeview channel 276
Alan brings Hugh Whitmore’s piece to the stage at West Ashling and Funtington District Hall from November 22-25, with tickets available on www.ticketsource.co.uk/funtingtonplayers.
“It is one of the lesser known plays by Hugh Whitmore who is better known for Pack of Lies and Breaking The Code, but this one is an interesting one. It is not what the title suggests though I can't tell you too much about it! It sends the audience home with a big question question mark! But it's the story of human frailty. It's certainly adult material and not suitable for children but it contains something that Hugh Whitmore often does which is that he gets rid of the fourth wall.
"Quite a lot of the play communicates directly with the audience and I think that's what helps make it really intriguing.
“It was written in 1999, just before the era of mobile phones and we have set it at about that time. It is about a couple that decide to retire to the country and they start a relationship, both of them, with their next door neighbours. One of the next door neighbours volunteers to be the secretary for the man and they in fact have an affair and the whole thing just goes on from there.
“It's a play about how when people are put in various situations such as temptation,all kinds of other motivations come out. Everyone in the audience would think oh I've seen that or something like that whether it is with other people or maybe even something that has happened in their own family. I think it's a play about things that everyone will recognise.
“The challenge in directing it is getting the fourth wall loss to work so that actors can actually talk to the audience directly without it breaking the dialogue within the play or the plot. But he is a very talented writer and it's a very strong script and if you look back at the reviews for when it was first performed in 1999, they were all rave reviews saying it was the best thing that he had done since Pack of Likes and Breaking The Code. And it is a really good piece for actors. Certainly the cast are all really enjoying it.
It is all part of a strong comeback post pandemic for the players: “During the pandemic we were lucky to keep things alive with Zoom and with online stuff and it all worked very well. I was actually due to direct this play just before the pandemic and then, as you will see from the title, it was not a title to put on straight away after the pandemic.
Since then the Funtington Players have got back in their stride nicely: “We are getting on with our twice yearly performances. We had Alfie in the spring which was a bit of a Marmite play. It was very good and our Alfie was brilliant but some people thought that the piece was a bit dated though some people absolutely raved about it.”