Paxton Whitehead, Charles Shaughnessy, Frances Barber and More Will See What the Butler Saw at the Mark Taper Forum
Joining previously announced cast member Paxton Whitehead (The Importance of Being Earnest, My Fair Lady) are Frances Barber (Hamlet, Camille), Sarah Manton (One Man, Two Guvnors), Angus McEwan ("The Duchess"), Rod McLachlan (Holiday, Our Town) and Charles Shaughnessy ("The Nanny," "Mad Men").
John Tillinger, who previously directed the Orton plays Loot and Entertaining Mr. Sloane in repertory at the Taper in 1987, will direct.
"Set in the consulting room of a private psychiatric clinic, the action begins when the very proper Dr. Prentice (played by Shaughnessy) is interrupted by his wife (Barber) just as he is about to seduce a beautiful, young woman who is applying for a job as a secretary (Manton)," press notes state. "As his botched efforts to conceal his actions spiral outrageously out of control, Orton ferociously skewers psychiatry, religion, marriage, morality, government and definitions of gender."
The production will feature set design by James Noone, costume design by Laurie Churba Kohn, lighting design by Ken Billington and John McKernon and sound design by John Gromada. Wigs and hair are by Carol F. Doran; casting is by Mark B. Simon, CSA; and the production stage manager is David S. Franklin.
Visit CenterTheatreGroup.org for more information.
—The New York Times
Don’t you love farce? It’s your typical boy-meets-girl story. Only the boy is a wily psychoanalyst married to a nymphomaniac. And the girl is his secretary…once she passes a not-so-routine physical. Mix in a little blackmail, a lot of sexual innuendo, a government inspector, a lusty bellboy and voilà!
This classic comic masterpiece has all the ingredients of a thoroughly enjoyable romp: manic action, twisting plotlines, mistaken identities, slamming doors, disappearing clothes, and, above all, Orton’s subversive wit, breakneck dialogue and outrageous lack of appropriateness.
“I’m not mad. It only looks that way.”
—Dr. Prentice in What the Butler Saw
Decried as scandalous in 1969 for its character’s raging libidos and rampant mockery of morality, What the Butler Saw is a timeless tale of sex and repression in a culture gone mad (it takes place in a mental hospital, after all), never slowing down long enough to let you catch your breath from laughter.
- Paxton Whitehead
- Charles Shaughnessy
- Frances Barber
- Sarah Manton
- Angus McEwan
- Rod McLachlan
Play Written ByJoe Orton
Directed byJohn Tillinger
Set Design byJames Noone
Costume Design byLaurie Churba Kohn
Lighting Design byKen Billington and John McKernon
Sound Design byJohn Gromada
Wigs and Hair byCarol F. Doran