Slapstick; sexual jealousy; and mistaken identity. At its best, farce can be sublime – its intricate plotting and sheer silliness combining to blissful comic effect. But should we take farce seriously, or is is mere lowbrow entertainment? What makes a good farce, and how should a director approach it?
On the opening of Georges Feydeau’s 1907 farce 'A Flea in Her Ear' at the Old Vic in London, Jan Dalley puts these questions to its distinguished director, Sir Richard Eyre, who was artistic director of the National Theatre for a decade, and to Sarah Hemming, the FT's theatre critic.
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