(Above: Janna Slack, Paul Rhoden, Melanie Moser, and Scott Machado play in “Funny Money,” the latest production of the Not Ready For Retirement Players; photo by Christopher McVay)

By Randi Bjornstad

This time around, the Not Ready For Retirement Players — according to the group’s founder, Chris Pinto, the name doesn’t imply age but an unwillingness to quit acting — is putting on a British farce called Funny Money.

This should be good news for all those who love British theatrical humor for its reliance on clever puns, impeccable timing, mistaken identities, utter silliness and, to be hoped for, English accents.

Written by Ray Cooney, it’s the story of what happens when an ordinary guy named Henry Perkins picks up the wrong briefcase when he leaves the underground (otherwise known as the subway) and upon opening it to get out his scarf and gloves, instead finds a million dollars worth of British 50-pound notes.

Naturally Perkins does what anyone else would do: He stops by a local pub and takes the briefcase into the men’s room to count the money, where a suspicious bobby (policeman) thinks he’s probably there to solicit men for, ahem, social purposes.

In the meantime, his wife, Jean, is at home fixing a lovely birthday dinner for Henry, to be shared by their close friends Vic and Betty. The three of them sit and wait — and imbibe — as they worry about Henry’s uncharacteristic absence.

Henry in the meantime figures that the money had to be ill-gotten by whoever had it before him and decides it therefore wouldn’t be so immoral to take it, grab Jean, and abscond to Barcelona to live a new, far more exciting life.

So he rushes home, followed by the policeman who wants to have a chat with him about his behavior at the pub, the gangster who knocked off the original holder of the money-filled briefcase who had then fallen into the Thames, the cab driver Henry had called to take him and his wife to the airport, and another cop who had found the body of the mobster in the river and, based on Henry’s ID in the briefcase, came to tell Jean that her husband was dead.

Yeah, sure, it’s a flimsy plot, but that’s what farces are for, a chance not to have to think too hard while laughing uproariously at how ridiculous life could be if we all lived in circumstances like those.

Lest you think that all British farces are old and musty, this one was written in 1994. It premiered in London at the Churchill Theatre in the Bromley borough and then enjoyed a two-year run in the West End. Cooney not only directed the play himself, he also played Henry Perkins.

The NRFRP’s production is directed by Chris Pinto, with a cast that includes not only Pinto but also Bill Campbell, Scott Machado, Chris McVay, Melanie Moser, Dan Pegoda, Paul Rhoden, and Janna Slack.

The production team also includes McVay as assistant director and stage manager Aaron Armstrong, with set design by Michael Walker, costumes by Sharon Wetterling, and poster art by Pegoda.

Funny Money

When: 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 17-18 and 24-25; matinees at 2 p.m. on Aug. 19 and 26

Where: The Studio on the lower level of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, One Eugene Center (at Seventh and Willamette streets in downtown Eugene)

Tickets: $20-23 general admission, available at the Hult Center box office, 541-682-5000, or online at hultcenter.org

Information: notreadyforretirementplayers.com