Fraser Valley Stage presents old-time slapstick

If you find yourself laughing out loud during movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Tootsie or The Birdcage, then you’ll love the latest play from Fraser Valley Stage.

Fraser Valley Stage hosts comedic classic Charley’s Aunt next week.

Fraser Valley Stage hosts comedic classic Charley’s Aunt next week.

If you find yourself laughing out loud during movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Tootsie or The Birdcage, then you’ll love the latest play from Fraser Valley Stage.

The non-profit organization is presenting Charley’s Aunt, an old-time British slapstick comedy, next week at the Abbey Arts Centre addition, 2329 Crescent Way.

The story is set at Oxford University in 1893 – a time when women didn’t attend a suitor’s house without a chaperone.

That tiny detail puts a kink in the plans of young college students Jack and Charley, who are trying to arrange a lunch with their girlfriends Amy and Kitty. Without a chaperone, their plan is doomed.

It turns out that Charley’s aunt, Donna Lucia D’ Alvadorez, is visiting from Brazil, so they organize a lunch around her arrival. But at the last minute, D’ Alvadorez doesn’t show up.

Naturally, the boys concoct a plan that involves their male friend dressing up as a woman, pretending to be D’ Alvadorez.

When Charley’s aunt shows up unexpectedly, the afternoon goes sideways.

“It’s a very funny situational comedy,” says director Dick Poulton.

He jumped at the opportunity to direct the play as it’s “pretty close to the heart.”

Charley’s Aunt was the first production that Poulton ever acted in, 34 years ago at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

“It gave me my start and made me want to become an actor.”

And while the cast was great 34 years ago– Poulton had the leading role – he adds that it’s not even close to this year’s talent.

The actors range from 60 years old to 16.

According to Poulton, they’ve nailed the slapstick, physical humour of the show.

It’s a family event, he adds, with no bad language, just a few “By George’s.”

“It’s been awesome. Everything I hoped it would be. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do on stage.”

The show runs from Tuesday, March 22 to Saturday, March 26 at 7 p.m. There will be a matinee on Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and include coffee and dessert.

They are available at The Reach, Prospera Credit Union, West Oaks Branch, and Kariton House Gallery.

For more information call 604-859-6544 or visit www.fraservalleystage.com.

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