The funny side of a dead body
FROM Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry to the chaotic Fawlty Towers episode The Kipper And The Corpse, trying to dispose of a dead body without being spotted has always been a comedy staple.
And writer/actor Dave Jenkins gives the theme another twist in The Removal Firm.
The well-drawn comedy gets going at Swansea's Dylan Thomas Theatre, with Swansea Little Theatre at the helm.
The piece sees a pair of advertising agency executives from the firm Roland Gantry being unceremoniously fired on the day they were expecting a decent promotion.
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The two are far from thrilled, and in the ensuing confrontation they end up killing Roland by accident.
Now they find themselves in shock, with a body on their hands, and with the problem of how to dispose of it without his wife, mistress, daughter-in-law and son finding out what has happened.
Dave, who has just done a turn with the theatre group as Ted Bovis in Hi-De-Hi, says: "Trying move a dead body without people noticing is one of those things that has been used a lot in comedy, but I have been careful not to write a farce.
"I have seen farces, with all the of the doors slamming and the mix-ups and the dropped trousers, and I haven't laughed at all.
"But this is very funny, not just in the dialogue but in what is going on in between the dialogue.
"Because I act as well as write I know how to add the spaces so the actors can create certain expressions and certain looks and pauses which all add to the comedy. I won't be in this one because I am producing so I need to be behind the scenes keeping the timing going, but when I read the parts I wish I could be in it."
The actors have been more than putting their backs into rehearsals too, he says.
"The sweat has been pouring off them for this one, partly because there are scenes when one actor has to 'be dead' and others have to move him around, with him being a dead weight
"He can't help them obviously, so physically it is very hard work."
More strenuousness is expected in one of Dave's many upcoming projects too, a sequel to his Land Of My Father.
That production, which was loosely autobiographical, saw him explore the culture clash and the misunderstandings that arose from an English lad marrying into a Welsh family.
"I am settled here now," says Dave, "and we have a 7-month-old daughter called Hannah.
"So the sequel to Land Of My Father will be Land Of My Daughter, telling the story, though not in every single detail of course, of Hannah being born."
The Removal Firm runs from Wednesday, August 15 to Saturday, August 18 at 7.30pm.