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NIU theater presents farce ‘The Real Inspector Hound’

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Presenting its final production of the 2012-2013 Studio Series, Northern Illinois University School of Theatre of Dance will stage the one-act farce, “The Real Inspector Hound,” by Tom Stoppard, opening today.

Stoppard’s classic play takes satirical aim at several conventions of live theater. “The Real Inspector Hound” opens to an apparent play-within-a-play, quickly becomes a commentary on stuffy theater critics, and, while parodying Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” makes fun of the typical parlor-style whodunit mysteries.

The lead characters are Birdboot and Moon. They are second-string theater critics who are reviewing a boring murder mystery.

The imaginary fourth wall that usually separates a theater audience from the play disappears when one of the critics can no longer stand the incessant ringing of an onstage phone and steps into the scene to answer it. From that point, he becomes a character in the play.

The other critic, attempting to follow the first into the world of the play, also becomes a character within the play. Meanwhile, all the original characters of the play have shifted and become other characters.

“The Real Inspector Hound” runs today through Sunday in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre on the DeKalb campus. Show times are 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $8 and are available at the door one hour before curtain.

More information is available at www.niu.edu/theatre.

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