On family weekend, the play Hay Fever, written by British playwrite Noel Coward and directed by Jennifer Juul, premiered in the Pridemore Playhouse. Hay Fever is a comedy about a less than ordinary but well-off family living in 1925 who all invite guests the same weekend and don’t let each other know. Each character has their own quirks that only add to the tension within the household.
Simon is the sloppy son (Felix Birdie), Sorel is the sometimes explosive sister (Bussy Gower), Judith is the retired actress mother (Chandish Nester) and David Bliss is the novelist father (Austin Dolan). Together they make up a dysfunctional family, which is as theatrical as it gets. They all play on each others’ nerves while making their guests think they are completely crazy.
Sandy Tyrell (Axle Burtess) is the mother’s love interest, Myra Arundel (Lyndsay Halpin) is Simon’s love interest, Richard Greatham (Matt Provance) is Sorel’s love interest and Jackie Coryton (Sara Lewis) is the girl the father has invited over and they are all the unlucky guests at the mercy of the Bliss family.
Sandy is an admirer of Judith from her days on the stage. Myra is supposedly there for Simon, but it is later found out that she is there for other reasons. Richard is invited by Sorel who claims that she fancies him. Jackie was invited by David who said that he wanted to study her in a domestic environment. By the middle of play, none of the family members are interested in the person that they invited.
The mother seems to be trying to string Richard along as well as giving Sandy to Sorel, who thinks he is fun at the time, but has no intentions of becoming serious with him. While the father is trying to tempt Myra, who isn’t having any of it, Simon bursts into the living room telling everyone that he and Jackie are to be married.
By the next morning all of the guests are jumpy and paranoid. They run at the sound of footsteps coming from the stairs. Eventually they are all down for breakfast and agree to sneak away from the house and take off in Sandy’s car.
Between the family feuds and the guests making plans to sneak away, the play was a joy to watch. The British accents were perfect and all of the actors and actresses were in character without a flaw throughout the play. I would highly recommend going to see this in the upcoming performances.