The farce has a time-honored tradition. It’s as old as the hills in art-form years. So why my personal distaste for it. Too much chaos and running about is the only thing I can point a finger at with any certainty.
- It makes fun of convention. (✔, that works for me.)
- It is an irritant, using comedy to point out foibles. (✔ also good as above.)
- It can be very confusing but in a way to make you think. (✔ thinking, okay!)
- There is always a lot of action in a farce. (✔, nothing wrong with that, either.)\
- The average farce puts a lot of value in silliness. (✔, not an essential for me, but ok.)
- Silliness rather than gravity or satire is the main point of farce. (X this does not attract me, particularly to slapstick or farce.)
- They run in and out of doors, sometimes carrying sardines. (That’s it. I am not fond of that, even though RTC’s not so recent production of Noises Off was rather fun.)
- The slamming doors thing is something I like to see reserved for household tiffs.
All that said, the farce is sometimes irrestible. Take for instance, Something Rotten!, underappreciated by the Tony voters, but valiantly drawing laughter long after the ceremonies. I loved it! In truth, it may not really be so much farce as send up. The trilogy of House and Garden brought us in, eagerly, to see all three pieces, slamming doors and all. Lend Me A Tenor is reliably as delightfully foolish as Fortune’s Fool, for instance. It Shoulda Been You is another example of the farcical theater that was marginally entertaining, and featured a fan fave of ours, Tyne Daly.
Of course, when we call something a farce, we are denigrating it, to some extent. We mean it’s ridiculous. it’s just that at the theater, the ridiculous can, so often, transcend!