A bounty of witty repartee was unleashed onstage last Friday evening when The Theatre Group at SBCC presented British playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s clever comedy Communicating Doors. With time travel and murder as central plot points, the ribald story takes place in a suite at a posh hotel, with characters traveling back and forth through 20-year time chunks via a “communicating door” that opens into the suite. The era is denoted by a change in the hotel logo and a picture of the member of the royal family who is currently on the throne — from a middle-aged Queen Elizabeth to Prince Charles and then Prince William as king.
Felicia Hall gives an excellent, hilarious performance as Poopay, a dominatrix who unwittingly becomes embroiled in the mystery of the suspicious deaths of two former wives of a wealthy businessman named Reece (Matt Smith). When Poopay inadvertently goes through the communicating door and lands in the hotel room in the past she encounters Ruella, played brilliantly by Leslie Gangl Howe, and the two women become co-conspirators in trying to prevent the murder of Reece’s wives, of which Ruella is one. Hall and Howe steal the show with their spot-on accents, deft comic timing, and sparkling banter, inducing well-earned laughs from the audience.
The show suffered from several unfortunate technical difficulties, and at times the pacing waned, but overall it was a wonderful romp and well worth seeing.