Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Roleystone Hall, Western Australia
TAKE a trip back through time and laugh yourself silly as Roleystone Theatre presents the popular Stephen Sondheim musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.
Inspired by the farces of ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251-183BC), the musical was originally produced on Broadway in 1962 where it won several Tony Awards.
The musical, directed by Mark Thompson at Roleystone Hall, tells the story of Roman slave Pseudolus who yearns for his freedom, while his young master pines for the girl next door.
In exchange for his freedom, Pseudolus promises to find a way to unite the two young lovers but, as always, the course of true love never runs smooth, paving the way for many humorous moments and twists in the tale.
The title of the show stems from a line often used by vaudeville comedians in music hall shows of yesteryear, as they announced: “A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre…”
“The musical combines 2000-year-old comedies with the gaudy, infectious energy of classic vaudeville,” Thompson said. “It’s basically a non-stop laughfest.
“It has a lot in common with British farces, in that it’s unrelentingly fast and full of witty dialogue.
“Towards the end of the show, the musical – which started at a light jog – turns into an all-out sprint to finish.
“Getting through it without an actor tripping on a doorway or hurting themselves will be a miracle.”
Involved in theatre for the past 14 years, Thompson has worked with the Koorliny Arts Centre, Murray Music and Drama, Laughing Horse Productions and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of WA.
He has received several best actor or supporting actor nominations at the annual Finley Awards for roles in Beauty and The Beast, Cinderella, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and Oliver!
“I’ve wanted to direct a musical for the past three or four years but couldn’t quite settle on one I wanted to do,” Thompson said.
“I knew I wanted to do a classic – something funny and charming.
“When someone mentioned Forum, I bought a copy of the soundtrack and practically listened to nothing else for about a month.
“Everybody Ought to Have a Maid is now a banned song in my home.”
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum plays 2pm March 28 and April 4; 7.30pm March 28, April 3 and 4; and 5.30pm March 29. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BITWB.