What do you get when you take a wealthy and bitingly estranged family, mix in some sex, lies and Polaroids, add a humanly impossible amount of binge drinking and throw in some sexy lingerie and a strait jacket?

I’ll give you one hint: It’s not the Paris Hilton sex tape …

It’s Cal Poly’s ballsy British romp called “What the Butler Saw,” which finishes its run in the Alex and Faye Spanos Theater today, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

The Freudian farce by Joe Orton takes center stage as the theater and dance department’s spring production, and the play – although at times a little too crazy to follow – is anything but boring.

A vast range of hot-button topics such as rape, sexuality, religion, psychology and politics make this production a little less “Are You Being Served” and a little more “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy (Phallic) Grail.”

A cast of fabulously vindictive, needy and sexually-confused characters round out this drawing room comedy gone terribly wrong – including a psychiatrist with a fetish for women’s panties, a middle-aged alcoholic sexpot, a doe-eyed ingenue from the countryside, a rather insane government assessor, a bumbling policeman, a horny bellhop and Sir Winston Churchill himself.

The play begins when Dr. Prentice, a psychoanalyst interviewing a potential secretary, instructs her to take her clothes off. “Don’t worry,” the good doctor tells his unsuspecting sex partner, “I’ll wear rubber – gloves!”

The plot thickens when Mrs. Prentice unexpectedly barges into the office claiming that some disgruntled youth has just attempted to rape her. The madness undoubtedly ensues as both Prentices pull every illogical excuse out of the books in hopes of covering for their S&M mishaps.

While the play may sound ridiculously taboo or even somewhat frightening, the actors manage to pull off a very satisfying performance. A hilarious mix of almost gratuitous slapstick and expert comedic timing make “What the Butler Saw” more than just a cheap roll in the hay.

The production even patronizes itself by acknowledging the sheer hysteria progressing before the audience’s eyes: “Am I a mad heifer?” asks the drug-induced secretary after being mistakenly charged as insane. “Are you a mad heifer? Oh! Is it the candid camera?” Not quite, replies the doctor. But one almost does expect a British Ashton Kutcher to jump out from the wings at any moment yelling, “You’ve been Punk’d!”

Constructed in a primarily “Theater in the Round” style, the set puts the audience right in the thick of the action. The seats are indeed so close that front-row observers must weather an occasional downpour of the actors’ spit, which might not be a turn-on for everyone, but it does make for good theater.

The cast is required to make an obscene amount of costume changes throughout the course of the play, oftentimes swapping shirts and shoes or even running around in their undergarments. But considering the extreme lack of clothing, one must tip their hat to the costume designer for creating an all together believable and functional line of 1960s garb.

The one aspect of the play that falters, however, is the consistency of the actors’ accents. Audience members may have trouble at the beginning of the play deciphering exactly where this odd group of Brits is from. The verbal precision for which the British are revered is sometimes lost in a slew of hefty monologues and intermittent gin-guzzling.

But the speed and fluidity at which the cast executes its heart-racing antics and mind-puzzling conclusions definitely makes up for the lack of aloof British snootiness required by the script.

Overall, it is the actors’ brazen disregard for their own self-consciousness and the pleasantly professional style with which the department manages to present this most unusual piece of art that makes “What the Butler Saw” worth seeing.

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