Derek Benfield was a master at writing farces. Webster’s New Universal Dictionary defines the word “farce” as “a light humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully exploited situation rather than upon the development of character.” In DON’T LOSE THE PLACE! the characters differ enough to make them interesting, but the plot takes precedence over character. The play moves along at a fast pace and should be enjoyed for what it is: two hours of fun in the theatre.
As is customary in farces, there is a great deal of deception going on in DON’T LOSE THE PLACE! Sylvia’s boyfriend has walked out on her. Being jilted was painful and she is determined never to go through that again. So she decides to see other men in hopes of finding the perfect one to marry. When the play opens she is seeing three possible candidates on a trial basis, and has organised a strict time-table for their individual visits to her apartment so they will not run into each other. She likes them all, but she can’t decide which of them she prefers. All three are good looking and have sex appeal. They even say they love her and talk about marriage. Clive is a well-built physical education teacher; Walter, an older successful businessman; and Eddie, a skilful carpenter. All three are equally determined to marry Sylvia. Despite her careful planning, all three suitors turn up unexpectedly on the same evening, demanding a clear commitment from her. Luckily, Sylvia’s good friend Jemma is there to help her cope with the panic and confusion. Their task: Keep the men apart at all costs — one in the kitchen, and the other two in the bedroom or living room! But for how long can they put off the inevitable confrontation of the three trial husbands? Who will she choose in the end?
“where anything can go wrong, something does, with the volume of audience laughter steadily increasing.” Newcastle Herald