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Flumes And Fumes

    by John Bartlett


Comedy Play Script: 'Flumes And Fumes' by John BartlettMadcap mayhem, debauchery, lust and mistaken identity, all this and more! The play is set in 'Floaters Leisure Centre' just prior to an inspection by the local senior councillor, Mr Pantalone. Isabella, the Centre's Manageress, is in a flap; however her dysfunctional staff are not perturbed in the slightest, add a good measure of lunacy to this theatrical pot of non-sense and you have all the ingredients for a crazy rollercoaster ride that builds and builds into an insane, ludicrous, climax that would not be amiss within the walls of Bedlam!

In this play, the endeavour has been to capture the spirit of the Commedia del'Arte wherever possible. The script for 'Flumes and Fumes' (and also that for 'Slap and Tickle') was initially improvised, the ideas generated were then gradually honed, coerced, nurtured and thrust kicking and screaming into their finished state. The story line is very firmly rooted in the tradition of knockabout, ribald, slapstick humour, and contains numerous sexual references. It is probably not suitable for actors or audiences below the age of 15.

The staging area is very loosely based upon a 'Booth Theatre' concept, which would have been very familiar to the Commedia players of old.

From the beginning, it was never an intention to wear masks as in the original Commedia del'Arte, but rather use the basic Commedia style as a concept to link modern comedy with the past. Hopefully this has been successful and therefore elements of 'Black Adder', 'Fawlty Towers', 'Bottom' and 'Friends' can be plainly discerned, jostling beside the stock characters that make up the fascinating world of Commedia.


60 mins approx


(5m, 6f)

  • Frankie (Franceschina) - a Receptionist
  • Rickie (Ricciolina) - a Receptionist
  • Pulcinella - the Caretaker
  • Harley (Arlecchino) - a Swimming Instructor
  • Captain Cardoni Fartblast - the Tennis Instructor
  • Isabella - the Manageress
  • Olivia - a 'Sloane Ranger'
  • Angelica - another 'Sloane Ranger'
  • Pantalone - the Inspector
  • Dr Halitosis - the Doctor
  • Colombina - the Doctor's Nurse

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