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Release: Immediate

NOTE TO EDITORS: The report is that Iowa Summer Rep is selling "tons of tickets." Several "Bedroom Farce" performances are already sold out, as indicated in this release. We suggest that you check with the box office just before publishing or broadcasting this story, so that you can give your audience the most up-to-date information on ticket availability.

Iowa Summer Rep '98 festival of Ayckbourn comedies continues with 'Bedroom Farce'

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa Summer Rep's 1998 Alan Ayckbourn laugh-fest will continue with the opening of "Bedroom Farce" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 1 in the David Thayer Theatre of the University of Iowa Theatre Building. Additional performances of "Bedroom Farce," will be at 8 p.m. July 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 14, and 22-25; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 19.

All the escalating misadventures in "Bedroom Farce" occur during one extraordinary winter night. The comings and goings in three British bedrooms grow hilariously out of control as a self-absorbed couple try to save their marriage, and thereby wreak havoc in the lives of three other couples. All three bedrooms are on-stage simultaneously, with the action shifting rapidly from one location to another.

"Most of us hope that what goes on in the privacy of our bedrooms is no laughing matter," says director Mary Beth Easley. "In this play, Ayckbourn takes a peek behind these closed doors to see how people reveal their quirks and foibles -- often with hilarious results."

"There's a wonderful line from the play that sums it all up -- 'You can tell a great deal from people's bedrooms.' "

In the Summer Rep playbill Robb Gries writes: "'Bedroom Farce' plays on our assumptions about the 'bedroom comedy.' The title of the play invokes images of sex comedies, mistaken identities and rampant bed-hopping. Ayckbourn takes those assumptions and turns them upside down, choosing instead to portray all the other mundane things that take place in bedrooms. 'Bedroom Farce' is a farce devoid of sexual content, in which the most intimate act of the play is an impromptu picnic of sardines on toast."

Other artistic contributors to the Iowa Summer Rep production of "Bedroom Farce" include scenic designer Dan Nemteanu, costume designer Kaoime Malloy, lighting designer Bryon Winn and sound designer Mark Bruckner.

Ayckbourn is one of Britain's most popular and prolific playwrights. He has even been labeled the "British Neil Simon." His plays -- which now number more than 50 -- have won numerous awards, including seven London Evening Standard Awards and the Dramalogue Critics Award. They have been translated into more than 30 languages, are performed on stage and television throughout the world, and have been filmed in English and French. Ayckbourn was recently knighted for his services to British theater.

Tickets for "Bedroom Farce" are $15 ($8 for UI students, senior citizens and youth), and are available in advance from the Hancher box office. If any tickets remain for a performance, they will be available one hour before curtain time at the Theatre Building box office. All tickets have been sold for the July 3, 24 and 25 performances.

Dinner at "Betty Windsor's Cafe" (a thinly veiled reference to Her Royal Highness) will be available on the Theatre Building plaza, overlooking the Iowa River, beginning at 6 p.m. before evening performances .

This season's fare, specially planned by the Iowa Memorial Union's catering service, will harmonize with Ayckbourn's decidedly British humor. Dinner selections will include appetizers of fig raisin walnut tart with Stilton cheese, strawberry apple soup with honey yogurt, and watercress smoked trout salad; entrees of fish and chips, a ploughman's plate and sherried mushroom crust; and desserts of lemon curd tart with candied ginger, and fresh strawberries and cream shortbread. Dinner reservations are recommended, by calling (319) 335-3105. Cash, check or UI charge are accepted for dinner payment, but credit cards are not.

Summer Rep subscriptions -- which are $36 ($21 for UI students, senior citizens and youth) -- offer substantial discounts to all three Ayckbourn Festival shows. The other productions are "Table Manners" and "Woman in Mind." A free Iowa Summer Rep brochure is available from the box office, or from the UI Department of Theatre Arts, (319) 335-2700.

Hancher summer box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairments who use that technology.

Iowa Summer Rep is a professional theater company that each season presents a festival of plays by a single contemporary playwright. The University of Iowa Community Credit Union is the corporate sponsor of Iowa Summer Rep.

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(performances at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

"Table Manners"
June 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 (2 p.m.), 28, 30
July 4 (6 p.m.), 5 (2 p.m.), 7, 12 (2 p.m.), 15, 19

"Bedroom Farce"
July 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 14, 19 (2 p.m.), 22, 23, 24, 25

"Woman in Mind"
July 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18

"Time of My Life" Reading
July 21