Who Goes Bare?
“There is dire confusion over whether the country mansion in which the play is set is a health farm or nudist camp. The play is a midsummer romp in which the chasing in and around the house is sustained at such a pace that there is no fear of the ‘topless’ members of the cast showing goose-pimples or, what is more important, the production being dull.” – The Stage, 16th August 1979
“I disown it completely. I was absolutely horrified. They turned it from fun into something that was condescendingly awful, and pandered to the lowest taste in the world. I was totally ashamed. The play is a totally innocent farce … There shouldn’t have been any nudity at all. The whole point of farce is that you never actually see anything … I don’t want to make a big issue out of it but the biggest favour that anyone could do me is to ignore it.” – co-author Richard Harris, having seen the show in Hayes (‘Too shocking – even for the author!’, Middlesex County Times 16th November 1979, page 23.)
In 1981, Askwith, Hayden and Meacher – again directed by Victor Kazan – toured New Zealand in a similar-sounding play, attributed to Hank Bristow, called CONFESSIONS FROM A HEALTH FARM (OR, WHO WENT BARE), alongside such local performers as Jenny Lealand, Anne Dickeson and Sue Jameson.
Cast & Crew
|Brian Manchip||Harry Meacher|
|Eddie Manchip||Robin Askwith|
|Police Sergeant||John Channell Mills|
|Settings by||Alan Miller Bunford|
|Presented by||Mark Furness|
|Presented by||Al Mitchell|
- Added by Jared William.
‘The scene: a Health Farm a few miles from London.’
Running a health club in a large, somewhat decaying mansion can be difficult at the best of times. Add the extra problems of gambling debts, sinister crooks, a neurotic quick-change artist, staff desertion (apart from one loyal but hysterical maid), and a nude tennis player and her Scottish husband, and you have the perfect recipe for chaos!
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