A very British night of farce and laughs

ALTHOUGH it was written almost half a century ago, the play Busybody continues to be revived for audiences across the world.

Busybody's director, Loretta Bishop, says the revival of the British farce and others like it has to do with distraction.

"Something so absurd can make people forget about things that are happening in life," she says.

"I think that's what it is. People don't want to think sometimes.

"I think that's why these comedies have lasted so long."

Busybody is a "typical British farce" set in the late 1960s. The show follows a cleaning lady, Mrs Piper, who discovers a dead body in the office building where she works.

But once the police arrive, the body is nowhere to be found.

Bishop likens the play to an Agatha Christie novel with a comical bent.

"[Mrs Piper is] into everyone's business and knows the goings-on of everything," she says.

The show, which will run for three weeks until the end of February, features a cast of eight actors.

This is Bishop's fourth play as a director and her first comedy. The 43-year-old theatre veteran's move to directing follows an acting and backstage production career that has lasted almost 20 years.

"I just enjoy each time I get up there and try and make words into a reality, seeing a vision on stage," she says.

She encouraged locals to come along to the show, which opened last Friday.

"If you want to have a good night laughing, by all means come across," she said.

"Peridot offers great service as well with wine and a supper afterwards.

"It's a great night out, cheap night out and they'll have a belly full of laughs."

Busybody will be playing at the Peridot Theatre, Mount Waverley Secondary College, Lechte Road, during February. Bookings are essential. Details: peridot.com.au.

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