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A Flea in her Ear

   

A Flea in Her Ear

By Georges Feydeau

Translated by Kenneth McLeish

Directed by John Neville-Andrews

December 8, 2005 at 7:30pm

December 9 & 10, 2005 at 8pm

December 11, 2005 at 2pm

Power Center

UM School of Music

Department of Theatre and Drama

Overview     Press Release     Program     Photos

 

Overview

If Viagra had existed in the early 1900s, comedy would not have been the same! Raymonde mistakenly determines that her husband Victor is having an affair due to their recent lack of amorous activity and because she intercepted a pair of his suspenders in the mail. To prove her suspicions, Raymonde writes an anonymous letter to her husband requesting a romantic rendezvous at a disreputable hotel. Victor misinterprets the letter and sends his friend Tournel, a notorious womanizer, in his place. Hilarity ensues at the hotel where mistaken identities and revolving beds lead to more confusion and marital mayhem.

Georges Feydeau is the unequivocal master of the French bedroom farce. Written in 1907 at the height of the Belle Epoque, A Flea in Her Ear is one of his greatest works, a light, amusing, and skillfully constructed comedy. This production is directed by John Neville-Andrews, whose last round with French Farce, Don’t Dress for Dinner, was the hit of the season. Played with breathtaking speed, A Flea in Her Ear is a witty series of misunderstandings, clandestine assignations, and misplaced jealousies that culminate in an evening of unparalleled fun.

 

Press Release

UM DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND DRAMA PRESENTS THE MADCAP FRENCH BEDROOM FARCE A FLEA IN HER EAR

ANN ARBOR — The UM Department of Theatre and Drama presents the bedroom farce A Flea in Her Ear. A witty comedy of misunderstandings and marital jealousy, A Flea in Her Ear plays at the Power Center in Ann Arbor December 8 at 7:30 PM, December 9 & 10 at 8 PM, and December 11 at 2. Written by the master of French farce, Georges Feydeau, the play is a comedic tour-de-force. John Neville-Andrews, professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama directs.

Having found varied success at a young age, playwright Georges Feydeau studied authors who had succeeded in farce, including Eugène Labiche, Henri Meilhac, and Alfred Hennequin. His first major result of this study was Champignol in Spite of Himself (Champignol malgré lui, 1892) followed by The Lady from Maxim’s (La Dame de chez Maxim, 1899.) With these successes, Feydeau became a popular playwright of the Paris boulevard theatre and earned great popularity abroad as well. Written in 1907 at the height of the Belle Epoque, A Flea in Her Ear (La Puce à l’oreille) became his most popular play in English-speaking countries.

Feydeau’s appeal stems from his ability to heighten the yearnings and weaknesses of ordinary persons caught in a net devised by his or her own foolishness. A flea in her ear is the French equivalent of the English expression “a bee in her bonnet.” In A Flea in Her Ear, Yvonne mistakenly determines that her husband Victor is having an affair due to their recent lack of amorous activity and because she intercepted a pair of his suspenders in the mail. To prove her suspicions, Yvonne writes an anonymous letter to her husband requesting a romantic rendezvous at a disreputable hotel. Victor misinterprets the letter and sends his friend Tournel, a notorious womanizer, in his place. At the hotel, mistaken identities and revolving beds lead to more confusion and marital mayhem.

Director John Neville-Andrews, whose last turn with French farce, Don’t Dress for Dinner, was one of the hits of the 2002-03 season, returns for another round of revolving doors and mapcap antics. “While the production is set in Paris, we’ve decided not to use accents in order to facilitate the sharpness of the work for both the actors and the audience. Timing is everything in a work such as this – both with words and action. Flea is a door slamming, pants dropping, bodice ripping comedy that is full of playful sex and clockwork precision.”

  

Joining Neville-Andrews on the artistic team is Rob Murphy, assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama, as scenic designer. Undergraduate students Taran Muller, whose work was last seen in The Hot L Baltimore, and Janine L. Woods, whose work was last seen in Romeo and Juliet, design costumes and lights respectively.

 

Program

Click here to view the program for A Flea in Her Ear.

 

Photos

Matthew Smith
Cara Akselrad
Matthew Smith
Cara Akselrad
Cara Akselrad
Chelsea O'Connor
Cara Akselrad
Chelsea O'Connor
Cara Askelrad and Chelsea O'Connor
Chris Allen
Cara Akselrad and Chelsea O'Connor
Chris Allen
Daniel Strauss and David Abed
De'Lon Grant
Daniel Strauss and David Abed
De'Lon Grant
David Abed, Daniel Strauss, and De'Lon Grant
David Abed and Daniel Strauss
David Abed, Daniel Strauss and De'Lon Grant
David Abed and Daniel Strauss
De'Lon Grant
Chris Allen
De'Lon Grant
Chris Allen
Rebecca Schwartzstein and Kevin Kuczek
Kevin Kuczek and Rebecca Schwarzstein
Rebecca Schwartzstein and Kevin Kuczek

Kevin Kuczek and Rebecca Schwartzstein

Brian Holden
Cara Akselrad and Brian Holden
Brian Holden
Cara Akselrad and Brian Holden
Kevin kuczek and de'lon grant
de'lon Grant and cara akselrad
Kevin Kuczek and De'Lon Grant
De'Lon Grant and Cara Akselrad
De'Lon grant and Patrick Rourke
Daniel Strauss
De'Lon Grant and Patrick Rourke
Daniel Strauss
cara akselrad and de'lon grant
chris allen and kate garfield
Cara Akselrad, Daniel Strauss and De'Lon Grant

Matthew Smith and Kate Garfield

Elizabeth engle
Rebecca Schwartzstein
Elizabeth Engle

Rebecca Schwartzstein

John Jarboe
cast
John Jarboe
John Jarboe and Chelsea O'Connor
matthew Smith and kate garfield
Chelsea O'connor
Matthew Smith and Kate Garfield
Chelsea O'Connor
de'lon grant
daniel strauss and chelsea o'connor
De'Lon Grant
Daniel Strauss and Chelsea O'Connor
matthew smith, daniel strauss and david abed
chris allen and daniel strauss
Matthew Smith, Daniel Strauss and David Abed
Chris Allen and Daniel Strauss

 

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

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