It Runs in the Family at Circle Bar B

Madcap Farce in a Hospital Runs Through Sunday, September 4

In celebration of the 40 years they’ve spent making people laugh, Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre is spending the summer presenting favorite shows from each of its four decades. It Runs in the Family, representing the 1990s, is a British farce in the tradition of Fawlty Towers and Doctor in the House, and it’s done splendidly by this cast, which includes Sean O’Shea as the principal liar, Dr. David Mortimore, and David Couch as Dr. Hubert Bonney, Dr. Mortimore’s primary accomplice in the endless fabrications at the heart of the show. The play’s single setting—the Doctor’s Common Room at St. Andrew’s Hospital—provides ample scope for a seemingly endless, yet hilarious and delightful sequence of failed misrepresentations, all hinging on a certain indiscretion committed by Dr. Mortimore and Nurse Tate in the hospital’s “Sluice Room” some 19 years ago.

Deborah Bertling, Sean O'Shea, David Couch, and Tyler Gilbert (seated) in Circle Bar B's <em>It Runs in the Family</em>.
Courtesy Photo

Carrying off this Carry On style requires all 11 actors involved to come equipped with the farceurs’ complete tool kit. Self-deprecating quips, double entendres, and withering put-downs fly at regular intervals. As Mrs. Rosemary Mortimore, Kathy Marden handles the double takes and unhelpful reminders of an eagle-eyed spouse with aplomb. Deborah Bertling shines as the love interest, Jane Tate; and Jean Hall is hysterical in the crucial—and very funny—role of the matron.


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