Theatre: The Foreigner

The Foreigner is a comedic play by Larry Shue, first performed in New York in 1984. It follows the adventures of a boring and chronically shy Englishman named Charlie Baker during his three-day stay in a rural fishing lodge in Georgia. He is there with his friend S/Sgt. "Froggy" LaSueur, who is on official business with the American military, depressed over his nowhere job and his marriage to a wife who has been consistently unfaithful and is now terribly ill. He feels he cannot talk to people, so he pretends to be a foreigner who speaks no English, and in doing so inadvertently charms many of the locals, including the widowed owner of the lodge Betty Meeks, bitter ex-debuntante Catherine Simms, and Catherine's dim-witted younger brother Ellard. But things get complicated when Catherine's fiance David accidentally impregnates her, and the racist property inspector Owen threatens to condemn the property and turn it into headquarters for The Klan. Long story short, Hilarity Ensues.

Not to be confused with the Steven Seagal film.

This play contains examples of:

  • Bond One-Liner: Froggy gets an awesome one after blowing up the van : "Bloody foreign cars, can't trust 'em".
  • Genius Ditz: What everyone thinks Ellard is when he starts "teaching" Charlie how to speak English.
  • Innocent Bigot: Betty is completely enthralled by the idea of foreign countries, but doesn't know the slightest thing about them. She believes she can break the language barrier with Charlie by shouting loudly enough.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Charlie, though it's not so much stupidity as naivety.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Partly invoked in Act Four; it is acknowledged on-stage, but what the plan itself is we don't find out until the bad guys do.