Bedside Manners is A Little Fawlty

Stephen Smith stars in Townsville Little Theatre's production of 'Bedside Manners' IMAGE: Gary Harvey

When you think British Hotel Manager trying desperately – albeit terribly – to juggle the comings and goings of his colourful guests, it’s likely just one name will spring to mind: Basil Fawlty.

However, a new breed of chaos-plagued concierge is about to enter the fray, as part of the latest production by Townsville Little Theatre, Bedside Manners.

Bedside Manners, written by Derek Benfield and directed by Alan Cooke (the same Writer/Director combination that presented 2017’s Panic Stations), is a fast and flirty farce that follows the frantic efforts of five people to keep a series of salacious affairs under wraps.

Stephen Smith plays Ferris, who is looking after his sister’s hotel while she’s on holiday and somehow finds himself in the middle of it all.

“He didn’t think it would be hectic, but the hilarious goings on of the guests trying to discreetly have affairs opens up a whole new level of personal interactions for Ferris which he deals with in an increasingly chaotic manner,” said Stephen.

“What follows is a hilarious romp that includes bedroom mayhem, gin, champagne, sunglasses and a box of chocolates.”

Stephen said it was the fast-pace and high-stakes synonymous with British farce that had made this show appeal to him as an actor.

“The show is set in a small country hotel, which means the action takes place in a small space,” Stephen said.

“Consequently, transitions between scenes are rapid and overlapping, which really increases the intensity of the action and all of our performances. In addition, there’s an extensive use of props to enhance the comedic impact of the show.”

Kate Archer, Matthew Palmer and Sarah Mathiesen in Bedside Manners. IMAGE: Gary Harvey

That need for speed and agility is a double-edge sword for the cast of Bedside Manners, requiring the fivesome to rise to the challenge of maintaining high energy levels, laser focus and on-point comedic timing to keep everything in balance. Stephen will be joined on stage by fellow Townsville Little Theatre regulars Matthew Palmer, Jeremy Naughton, Kate Archer and Sarah Mathiesen.

“It’s definitely been a challenging project, but it is rewarding to work with such a dedicated and enthusiastic team to bring this immensely funny play to life, especially as Townsville Little Theatre’s opener for the 2020 season,” said Stephen.

“We would all like audiences to leave PIMPAC chuckling and talking about moments in the play that they found particularly funny.”


Catch Townsville Little Theatre’s Bedside Manners on 18-21 March 2020.


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