During the Regency, farces were short comic plays, generally performed after a full length drama on the same evening. But I’ll admit I’m not as familiar with Regency farces as I am with modern ones.
When I saw a TV rerun of the 1968 film version of “A Flea in Her Ear”, written by George Feydeau in 1907, with Rex Harrison and Rosemary Harris, I loved it: the mistaken identities, the timing, the sheer silliness. Since then I’ve seen a few live farces. The funniest of them is “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn, what he called a “farce from behind”, in which a troupe of actors stumble catastrophically through a farce and their mistakes are funnier than what was originally intended.
I like Regency romps too: romances that take some of those elements of farce and combine them with a love story. I’d call many of Georgette Heyer’s Regencies romps. Barbara Metzger did a great job with this type of story. In historical romance, Julia Quinn and Loretta Chase have written some fantastic Regency romps. It’s this sort of blend of romance and humor that I aimed for in THE REDWYCK CHARM, the second book in my “Three Disgraces” series, in which the heroine masquerades as an opera dancer and the hero pretends to be a rake.
Do you enjoy farces and romps? What are some of your favorites?
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And here’s a clip from the South Coast Repertory Company’s production of “Noises Off”.