In The Net
By Ray Cooney
May 7-29, 2004
If you think
your life is complicated, imagine the life of two-timing taxi driver John Smith
who keeps two separate families!
When his teenage
children (a girl from one family and a boy from the other) meet in an Internet
chat room and are anxious to meet in person, John's already hectic life shifts
into high gear as he tries to keep his double life a secret.
fast-paced farce was nominated for the 2002 Olivier (Britain's Tony Award) and
the 2001 Evening Standard Awards for Best New Comedy, and Carpenter Square
staging its Oklahoma premiere.
CAUGHT IN THE NET is actually a sequel to Cooney's popular RUN FOR YOUR
WIFE that ran in London for 9 years. Carpenter Square presented
RUN FOR YOUR WIFE in
1993 and the Pollard Theatre most recently performed it in 2003. It was the
story of John Smith, a London taxi driver with two wives in different parts of
London and a very tight schedule to keep. An accident disrupted his careful
schedule, but after a lot of hijinks, he managed to keep his secret from his two
Now, 18 years
later in CAUGHT IN THE NET, modern technology is about
to lead Smith's two families into a head-on collision. The show opens on a set
that represents both homes, which allows for simultaneous action in both
locations. Enter son Gavin Smith with his mum Barbara and daughter Vicki Smith
with her mum Mary. Both teenagers are discussing having met in an Internet chat
room. They are amazed that they both have fathers named John Leonard Smith who
are London taxi drivers, and since romance has blossomed, they are determined to
meet in person. The audience soon learns that the "amazing coincidences" are due
to the fact that they indeed have the same father, but the characters are still
in the dark.
When Dad gets
wind of their plan to meet, chaos ensues as he tries to keep the teens apart and
keep his dual life secret from both his wives and kids. John quickly enlists the
help of his dopey boarder Stanley, which only leads to hilarious lies, mistaken
identities and mysterious phone calls. When Stanley's senile father arrives for
a holiday, it stirs up the antics even further. Without giving away any more
details, the audience is assured that in a Ray Cooney farce, if something can go
wrong, it will go ... berserk!
Ray Cooney, a
recognized "master of farce," has been one of Britain's most popular playwrights
where he has had 18 shows in London's West End. After his smash hit
RUN FOR YOUR WIFE came to New York, he has become more familiar to U.S. audiences.
Carpenter Square audiences have previously enjoyed
four other Cooney farces, including
RUN FOR YOUR WIFE,
FUNNY MONEY, IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY (produced in
OUT OF ORDER, (the latter also
directed by Doobie Potter).
are not high brow literature," remarks Carpenter Square artistic director Rhonda
Clark. "He sets out to entertain with zany characters that he puts in even
zanier circumstances. Our audiences get the treat of a night filled with laughs.
Also, although this play is a sequel, it stands on its own. Audiences will not
be confused if they missed the first story."
Carpenter Square Theatre gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Oklahoma
Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for this production.