Closing weekend for Theatre Britain’s crisp, clever Will You Still Love Me?

Celia and Jeremy Winthrop are newlyweds on their honeymoon. After a series of mishaps at the resort, they decide to return early. Jeremy has offered the use of their country cottage to the Wards and the Jessels, two couples under the mistaken impression they’re still out of town. When Celia and Jeremy arrive, finding no evidence of other inhabitants, they settle in, assuming they’ll have the place to themselves. Jeremy, being a rugged, virile, freshly married young man who’s already had his consummation privileges delayed, is eager to get busy. Celia however, keeps putting him off, reminding him they’re two civilized adults, with no need to jump each other, in the heat of reckless urgency.

Needless to say, Jeremy and Celia’s pastoral, posh cottage is roomy enough to make it possible (no matter how implausible) for the two to be absent when the Wards and Jessels show up separately, unaware and unannounced. To further complicate matters, Sara Ward is having an affair with Humphrey Jessel. And (you guessed it) Peregrine Ward is seeing Thelma Jessel. Each pair believes no one else is there. Each character spends as much time considering their missing spouse as they do romancing. When Jeremy and Celia discover two of their friends are also staying there (though promiscuously) they decide to be casual and sophisticated. Until they realize they’ve got four guests, instead of two. For the rest of the play, they assiduously keep one pair from discovering the other.

Written by Brian Clemens and Dennis Spooner, Will You Still Love Me in the Morning is a light, clever, sex farce without sex, or strangely enough, much cynicism. There’s no shortage of libido (or guilt) and Spooner and Clemens pit the cerebral against the carnal, repeatedly. These hapless folks would probably spend more time making love, if they weren’t so busy navigating the realm of discreet transgression. The newlyweds exhaust themselves trying to protect the four from discovering their partner’s infidelity. We’re caught up in the playwrights’ frantic attempts to spare each character’s feelings, before the shiny penny drops. As badly as everyone wants to engage in rowdy sex, circumstances conspire to interfere. Even the newlyweds, who must surely be entitled to some matrimonial bliss, are denied the opportunity. There is also a plumber whose attempts to plug a broken pipe (thank you, Dr. Freud) are prolonged and futile.

Directed by Sue Birch this cast: Bryan Brooks (Jeremy Winthrop) Robin Clayton (Celia Winthrop) Nick Haley (Peregrine Ward) Shea Smitherman (Sara Ward) Jake Shanahan (Humphrey Jessel)
Kim Winnubst (Thelma Jessel) and Lauren Hearn (Syd Clancy) could put Cirque de Soleil to shame with their agile hijinks and shenanigans. (How do they do it?) This kind of comedy can get old very quickly and it is to their great credit that Will You Still comes off with such charm and aplomb.

Theatre Britain presents Will You Still Love Me in the Morning, playing February 10th-March 5th, 2017. Cox Playhouse, 1517 Avenue H, Plano, Texas 75074.972-490-4202.

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