Preview: The Foreigner

4.1 talks to The Green Door theatre company about their upcoming production of ‘The Foreigner’

“In this wacky comedy, dithering and dull Englishman Charlie goes away to the Deep South of America to escape his unfaithful wife for a while. In an attempt to be left in peace, he pretends he is from an exotic foreign land and doesn’t speak English, however this makes him even more intriguing to the locals. A tale of mishaps and misunderstandings, quirky characters and outlandish slapstick, plus a run in with the local right-wing extremist, ‘The Foreigner’ interweaves dark undertones with an otherwise comical plot, and remains hilarious to the last.”

 

Best line from the play?

Tom Mander (Director): “There are a thousand serpents in my bowels and each one screams with pleasure.”

 

Fill in the gap: ‘If you loved …… you’ll love ‘The Foreigner’.

TM: The Wild Thornberries – there’s the upper class father figure, the foreigner who doesn’t speak English, a stroppy late teen, and the one who’s clever but overlooked by everyone. It’s just perfect.

 

How did you decide to put on ‘The Foreigner’? What factors effect your decisions, as a college based theatre company?

Alice Barber (Associate Producer): Funnily enough, we sort of came upon it by accident. The plays in our original brainstorm for the Epiphany Term production were being picked off one by one due to various rights, logistics and casting issues, and just as we were losing hope we stumbled across The Foreigner. After a night of hilariously horrendous attempts at reading the script in a Forest Gump-esque accent, we were sold.

 

What advice could you offer to other college based theatre companies that are less well established?

AB: Don’t be afraid to open up your auditions University wide. We have been fighting the ‘less established’ battle ourselves, being a company that was only revived a couple of years ago, and this is Green Door’s first production that hasn’t cast exclusively from St. Chad’s College. Safe to say we’ve really struck gold with our cast this time; the mixture of St Chad’s patriots and members of other colleges is simply gorgeous.

 

Would you say you have a particular style as a theatre company?

AB: Well up until The Foreigner our plays all seemed to revolve one way or another around cross-dressing, which at one point we considered making our ‘thing’! What has continuously characterised the productions though, is farce. It’s light-hearted, its fun, and it never fails to show off our fabulous casts to the best of their comic abilities. We like to think of ‘Green Door’ as that friend who is continuously cracking jokes, the Chandler Bing of theatre, if you will!

 

 

Alice and Tom share their key reasons for coming to see the show:

 

1. The abundance of facial expressions. As the protagonist supposedly speaks no English, hilarious facial communication is at an all time high.

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2. The fine balance of comedy and serious subject matter. Whilst the script and slapstick is undeniably hilarious, The Foreigner actually tackles a rather hard-hitting topic – the dangers of the extreme nationalism and racism still practiced in the USA in the 1980s.

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3. The moral message of friendship, tolerance, and care for fellow human beings, despite racial differences.

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4. Those southern accents – I’m afraid we can’t do them justice with a picture, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to take our word for it. But instead, here is the fabulous poster for the production.

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5. The talented cast and top-notch direction!​

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Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/806688806077146/?fref=ts

 

Image: Natassja Moczarski.

Photography: Alice Barber.

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