"Hay Fever" is playing at the Coronado Playhouse from May 19 to June 4, and tickets are free thanks to a grant from the City of Coronado. Graphic courtesy of the Coronado Playhouse.

For year 27 of the Free Classic Series, Coronado audiences will be transported to England to meet the outrageous and opinionated Bliss family in Noël Coward’s “Hay Fever” at the Coronado Playhouse.

The play runs from May 19 to June 4, and up to five tickets per person are free, thanks to a grant from the City of Coronado. Tickets may be obtained at the Coronado Playhouse website and large groups can call 619-435-4856.

About the play

In this biting script, a quiet vacation goes awry when David and Judith Bliss’s children Simon and Sorel crash their holiday, bringing along unassuming guests.

A torrid game of charades, a whirlwind engagement, and dramatic fainting all occur in a single act.

The vain characters’ emotive personalities and curt bickering play against the atmosphere
of English high society in this layered comedy. The self-absorbed Bliss family fails to recognize their own petulant behaviors as the weekend unravels.

Modern-day “Hay Fever”

“I am taking the Hay Fever that was set 98 years ago and bringing it into 2023,” says director Hannah Meade, “Complete with social media and all of the modern-day validation dopamine hits. The Bliss family is completely ego driven, in all of its forms, and I feel that fits perfectly in our inherited 2023 world.”

A cross between high farce and a comedy of manners, the play is set in an English country house and deals with the four eccentric members of the Bliss family and their outlandish
behavior when they each invite a guest to spend the weekend.

“Each of the guests finds themselves caught in these wildly outrageous love triangles,” Meade said.

The self-centered behavior of the hosts finally drives their guests to flee while the Blisses are so engaged in a family row that they do not notice their guests’ furtive departure.

“A huge theme in this play is vanity- especially witnessed through the Blisses,” explains Meade, “Which is one of the reasons I wanted to push it into modern-day because, if nothing else, we as a human race have found many more ways to receive that external approval.”

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