The Barn Theatre,
25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey
RH8 0AA.

Tel: 01959 561811
Email: barntheatre


Out of Order by Ray Cooney


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Out of Order

This farce is set in a suite at the four star Westminster Hotel London, just around the corner from the House of Commons. It is around 8:30 one evening in September.
Time is the present.

Brief Synopsis
Richard Willey, a Labour Junior Minister, plans, under the cover of an all-night commons sitting, to spend the night in Suite 648 at the four star Westminster Hotel, London, with Jane Worthington, one of the opposition’s junior secretaries.
So the seeds are sown (or in Richard’s case, not) for a hilarious Ray Cooney farce which won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy of the year in 1991. Things start to go disastrously wrong early on; when expecting only to handle Jane’s body, Richard (or Dickie as he likes Jane to call him) discovers the ‘body’ of a man trapped in the suite’s unreliable sash window.
Desperately trying to get out of what has suddenly become an extremely sticky situation, Richard summons his trusty Parliamentary private secretary, George Pigden, to the Hotel to sort things out.
The Hotel boasts the typical assortment of stereotypical farce characters, such as a pompous interfering Hotel Manager, a sly old hotel waiter whose seen it all before and knows he can earn hush money, and a Maid of suspect Mediterranean origin who has little command of the English Language. With their help things go from bad to worse. And in an attempt to move, hide, and disguise the body in his hotel suite Richard sinks further and further into troubled waters when forced to lie.
Further complications arise when Ronnie, the jealous husband of Jane, arrives in a high state of agitation in search of his wife, who, because he has suspected her for some time of having little tête-à-têtes in corner cafes, has had her secretly followed.
Act Two continues where Act One finishes, when the ‘Body’ starts to stir and then proceeds to have flashbacks. Two more characters are introduced to confuse matters even more: Richard’s wife Pamela arrives unannounced to surprise her husband, as she wants to hear him talk in the debate. The opened-mouth George, ever the faithful PPS, attempts to create a smoke screen by declaring his undying passion for her. She immediately, well almost immediately, responds and, with the late arrival of Nurse Foster, who has been nursing George’s invalid Mother, things really come to a Climax (or in Richard’s case…….)

Playing of Farce
The playing of farce relies on an ensemble of talented actors that work together as a team. The delivery of the dialogue requires pacing, pausing and pointing. Every part is an important element of a well-constructed farce and commitment from each and everybody in the cast is the only way of achieving a successful production.

Martin 01883 625651


Richard Willey MP - Peter Damesick
A suave and successful MP. He is a Junior Minister in the Labour Government. With a hands on approach to his work.
Playing age around forty - forty-five. Audition pieces Page 1-5, 39-40
Costume 2-piece suit - Silk Dressing gown

George Pigden MP - David Rose
Parliamentary Private Secretary to Richard Willey MP. He is an upright pleasant man of a nervous disposition, easily confused, and is forced to support his boss in a tangled web of deceit.
Playing age thirty - forty. Audition Pieces Page 39-40, 47-48
Costume 2 piece Suit

The Manager of the Hotel - Chris Hepher
A severe interfering man with little or no humour who is only concerned for the reputation of his hotel.
Playing age forties - sixties. Audition Pieces Page 1-2
Costume black jacket Black waistcoat Pin Strip Trousers (these fall down in Act 2)

The Waiter in the Hotel - Jimmy Rogers
A nimble and wily old servant with some nice one-liners and facial expressions. Uses the situation to his advantage by obtaining hush money at every opportunity.
Playing age fifties - sixties. Audition Pieces Page 18-19 plus speech on page 22 Costume dark trousers - waistcoat - White jacket

The Maid in the hotel - Hilary Moore
A confused woman from somewhere around the Mediterranean.
Playing age thirty - fifty. Audition Pieces Page 17
Costume dark dress with apron

Jane Worthington - Jo Emery
An attractive but dizzy young lady, who is one of a pool of secretaries at the House of Commons serving the opposition party and in particular it’s Leader. Playing age twenty - twenty-five. Audition Pieces Page 4-5, 60-61
Costume Smart colourful day dress with zip down back Bra/knickers waisted petticoat

Ronnie Worthington - Jeremy Taylor
Husband to Jane. An angry and fiercely jealous young man.
Playing age Twenty-five- thirty. Audition Pieces Page 28-29
Costume Light coloured trousers Jacket or sweater

Pamela Willey - Amanda Ryan
An attractive sophisticated woman, wife of Richard. A typical MP’s wife. Playing age around forty. Audition Pieces Page 47-48
Costume Smart two-piece with matching hat and gloves coat

Gladys - Jackie Barret A bossy but attractive nurse to George’s invalid Mother. Playing age twenty-five - thirty-five. Audition Pieces Page 55-56 Costume Day dress - handbag - coat

A Body Alex Ryan
A man in a raincoat that gets moved around a lot. Ability to fall an advantage. Playing age thirty - sixty. Audition Pieces Page 50
Costume Raincoat/coat peak cap - Old suit with bowler (waiters old demob suit)

Briefcase containing business papers, Coloured (Richard)
Central London Telephone book
Various ornaments
Pictures (Bruce to supply)
2 glasses
Silver bowl of Caviare
Silver platter of Oysters
Plate with biscuits
Rose in a vase
Briefcase (George)
Wallet containing £5 notes (George)
Dress (Check with Sandy)
Pile of Clothes (check with Sandy)
Wheelchair (Pat to supply)
Money Clip (Richard)
Six £5 notes (Richard)
Loose change (Richard)
Note pad /pencil (waiter)
Key to Suite next door (could be Key card) (Waiter)
Pass key (Manager)
Blanket Overnight case (Pamela)
Handbag (Pamela)
Silver Tray (Waiter)
Bundle of Clothes (Check with Sandy)
Bottle of Sleeping tablets (Waiter)
Dressing (liase with Muriel)