by Ken Ludwig
directed by Ted Osborne
(at Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver)
Thursday November 2 – 7:30 pm
Friday November 3 – 7:30 pm
Saturday November 4 – 2:00 pm matinee
Saturday November 4 – 7:30 p
This play was named the “Best Mystery Play of 2012” by The Mystery Writers of America. “The Game’s Afoot (or Holmes for The Holidays) is a fast-paced ensemble piece filled with great roles, and keeps everyone guessing ‘who done it?’ right up the very end of the show,” says the veteran SOAP director. (SOAP Theatre patrons will likely remember the non-stop laughter when SOAP presented Moon Over Buffalo in 2006 and Lend Me A Tenor in 2014, both also by Ludwig.)
It’s December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.
by Norm Foster
directed by Jen Jensen
At Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver
- Friday February 2 – 7:30 pm
- Saturday February 3 – 2:00 pm matinee
- Saturday February 3 – 7:30 pm
At OSS Theatre on Osoyoos
- Friday February 9 – 7:30 pm
- Saturday February 10 – 7:30 pm
“This is the story of my pursuit of a good woman. And I don’t mean just any good woman, because I know there are millions of good women out there. I’m sure there are some here right now. But, I have a particular woman in mind. Her name is Molly.
“I first met Molly twenty-five years ago. We met only three times, very briefly, over the course of the next three years. We were both married back then. Me to my wife Kitty, and Molly to Arthur Graham, the owner of the company I worked for. Eventually Arthur Graham sold the company and I didn’t see Molly again, but, she would always come back to me. Sometimes in a dream. Sometimes while I was just sitting at home going over the monthly bills. Or sometimes when I was driving over a long distance. Her face would suddenly pop into my mind at these times and I would wonder how she was doing.”
This charming two-act may feature a fairly straightforward plot line but the production can be a pure gem.
So what’s it about? It’s a romantic comedy, with touches of personal drama, spanning three decades, over which time a smitten Bud Mitchell meets (on several occasions) and falls hopelessly in love with his boss’s wife Molly Graham. The tone of those meetings is comic, with the setting usually an after-hours business social event.
Other than the socially awkward employee’s well-hidden infatuation with the always inebriated object of his desire, the action amounts to little more than a few shared words, all of which are promptly forgotten and lost by the outwardly and inwardly bored Molly in a haze of alcoholic indifference. Each subsequent time their paths meet, she has no idea of who he is and the fact they already know each other.
Directed by Tom Szalay
Run Dates (only at Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver)
- Friday April 20 – 7:30 pm
- Saturday April 21 – 7:30 pm
- Sunday April 22 – 2:00 pm matinee
- Friday April 27 – 7:30 pm
- Saturday April 28 – 7:30 pm
Also at Okanagan Zone Theatre Festival in Vernon on May 24
Outside Mullingar is deliciously funny; a twisted comedy about death and love that flirts with — and sometimes embraces — Irish cliches galore.
The play is set on the side-by-side farms of the Rileys and Muldoons. Anthony Riley lives with his widowed father Tony, and Rosemary Muldoon with her recently-widowed mother Aoife [ee’-fa].
The opening scene, on the day of Chris Muldoon’s funeral, offers gallows humour in the gift-for-gab style for which the Irish are famous. Describing how a premature baby seemed to get even smaller before he died, Tony tells Anthony, “He shrunk like a sock in the wash.”
There will be more deaths before long, arguments about inheritance (Tony threatens not to leave his farm to Anthony but sell it instead to his brother’s son, who looks more like a farmer: “He has hands like feet”) and a long-simmering property dispute between the Rileys and Muldoons that provides a productive running gag.
The second act love story belongs to Rosemary and Anthony, now living alone on their neighbouring farms. She’s thirty-something, he’s in his forties. Both are single, adrift (“Seize the day? Seize it and do what, though?”), depressed (“Thinking’s worse than February”). The mystery is why they haven’t gotten together.
Rosemary calls him “a bit of a lump” and scolds him for his lack of spunk and spark, but it’s obvious she cares for him. And what’s up with Anthony? She’s beautiful, available and right next door, but he seems uninterested.
The gloriously funny catechism with which she finally demands answers from him leads to a revelation so bizarre it’s almost a miracle that Shanley manages to make it both howlingly comic and beautifully moving.
Listen to the horror-struck, awe-struck Anthony when Rosemary comes on to him: “You’ve been chaste as a dove all your life and now you’re going on like a pirate!” The script reveals Rosemary’s lovelorn vulnerability with her aggressive strength. You really want these two to get together.
Shanley infuses the play with spirituality. Rosemary hates the bible (“They should call it The Book of Awful Stories”) but in this Irish countryside characters hear voices, see “signs from heaven” and are “touched by the quiet hand of God.” Mullingar seems just the place for these quiet comic miracles.