Mitchell Theater Presented “A Flea in Her Ear”
Actors Kevin Mandt, Lydia McBee Reed, Casey Longacre, Arianna Nero and Cain Graham performed varies elements of physical comedy in the production of “A Flea in Her Ear” Oct 13-16 at Mitchell Theater. (Photo provided by UCO Photo Services).
The University of Central Oklahoma College of Fine Arts and Design and Department of Theatre Arts performed “A Flea in Her Ear” Oct. 13-16 in Mitchell Theater.
The enthralling premise of this performance surrounds a serious case of miscommunication and mistaken identity, sending several couples into a chaotic frenzy after the active imagination of a house wife causes her to set a trap for her seemingly unfaithful husband.
Written by George Feydeau and adapted by Greg Leaming, this production is set in the late sixties. It tells a comical tale of Victor and Laura Chandler, who —along with their best friends, employees, and numerous others— endure a crazy and confusing day at the Pussycat Motel after Laura mistakes her husband’s intimacy issues as a sign of cheating.
“Laura Chandler is maybe a little bit of a bored housewife, but I don’t think she has really done anything housewife-like or been expected to. She’s maybe a little too innocent for her own good. I would say she is very naive, and that gets in the way of her,” actress Lydia McBee Reed said.
— Mitchell Hall at UCO (@MitchellHallUCO) October 13, 2016
Laura decides to write a fake love letter to Victor to catch him in the act. However, the letter causes all sorts of mayhem as several other characters misinterpret it. To top it all off, a Victor Chandler doppelgänger, known as Potts, is running around the motel causing even more confusion for everyone.
“Essentially the plot is my wife thinks I am cheating on her, but I am not. She sets up a trap with this fake letter to meet at the motel. Everyone goes to the motel they find Potts, and it’s just a whole big love life miscommunication,” actor Riley Turner said.
The play was directed by Daisy Folsom and received positive reactions from audience members as McBee Reed, Turner and the rest of the cast performed various aspects of slap stick and physical comedy.
“I think [the comedy] can really connect to almost everyone. There’s the humor in there that’s maybe a little sex humor. Everyone our age can be like ‘oh yeah, that just happened,’ but there’s also enough word-play and highbrow humor, for lack of a better word, that you never feel like you’re pandering to the audience,” McBee Reed said.
— Kelli Kidd (@KelliKWithAni) October 14, 2016
Along with portraying Victor, Turner also plays Potts, who, though in appearance is identical to Victor, has a completely different personality. He said it was fun playing two such diverse characters, but it was also difficult at times with the constant stage movement and costume changes.
“It was kind of a challenge for me because I had to learn how to, in a moment’s notice, go from very straight and deeper tone of voice to loose and almost high-pitched voice,” Turner said.
The play is classified as a farce, which Turner said is comedy that is over-dramatic, unrealistic and sharp to emphasize the humor.
“This is another term, for it is precision theater. You’re not going to get a lot of sloppy movements, although Potts might, but with, like, Victor or any of the other characters, the movement is going to be sharp and quick. Without that, it is not a farce,” Turner said.
Swinging Sixties, sexy, funny and loving are five words McBee Reed said described the theme and feeling of “A Flea in Her Ear.“