After seeing Black Comedy at Oldcastle Theatre, I am convinced that true comedy has to be seen in a theatre. The physicality of this production cannot be duplicated on any screen. Enhancing the experience at Oldcastle is the size and shape of the theatre which brings the audience close to the action. The premise of this play by Peter Shaffer is that the actors are in the dark. The main fuse has blown and the characters stumble around in a darkened apartment. Peter Shaffer, who has written such plays as The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Equus and Amadeus, makes the premise that when the stage is dark for the audience, it is light for the characters and when the stage is light for the audience, it is dark for the characters.
Bob and I interviewed the director, Tim Foley, and the lead actor, Jim Staudt before opening night. Although we have been great admirers of their past work, nothing sufficiently prepared us for the delight of this performance. A great deal of this is due to Tim’s skillful direction and Jim’s amazing athleticism. However, each actor on stage is so completely into his or her character that this is one of the funniest productions of this slapstick comedy that we have ever seen.