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More twists and turns than the recent BC election…

May 21, 2013
Ben Odberg as Gillette

Ben Odberg as Gillette

The Game’s Afoot has more macabre twists and turns than the recent BC election and won’t disappoint you no matter what the outcome.

Variously described as “Murderously Funny!” by Broadway World and “a wild and funny ride” by Cleveland Fine Arts Examiner, The Game’s Afoot won the 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Awards as Best Play.

South Surrey’s Peninsula Productions presents the Canadian Premiere of The Game’s Afoot, written by noted American playwright Ken Ludwig. Ken Ludwig also wrote Lend Me a Tenor which played in Vancouver recently to enthusiastic theatre audiences.

Directed by Wendy Bollard, this hilariously funny play takes place on Christmas Eve, 1936, in the extravagantly-appointed Connecticut manor house of real-life Broadway star William Gillette. The play offers surprise and mystery at every turn, building on the best traditions of ‘whodunits’ by Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and includes the rapier-like wit and repartee of an English drawing-room.

There are several characters brimming with thespian ego and drama, including the eccentric Gillette, a vituperous critic, an ingenue, a dotty mother, and a couple who have been married too long and know each other too well.

In real life, American actor William Gillette, who was good friends with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, gained his fame and fortune by first writing ‘Sherlock Holmes’ for the stage and then playing the lead role for the next 30 years before American and English audiences. It is from Gillette’s reprise of this character, that we gain our image of Holmes with the deerstalker hat and the meerschaum pipe.

In Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot, the re-imagined William Gillette, who lived as Sherlock Holmes on-stage, becomes his own ‘a la Sherlock Holmes’ detective, as he tries to solve his own near-murder. If you can solve this one, there may be a job waiting for you in Victoria.

The title draws on the lines from King Henry V Act III Scene 1:

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

On this gleeful and scary ride through Holmesian farce, audiences will be shocked and horrified in one moment and doubled over with laughter the next.

Peninsula Productions presents The Game’s Afoot July 10-28 at the Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd, White Rock. Tickets ($18-23) are available at 604-536-7536 at the Playhouse Box Office, Tuesdays to Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. and online at www.whiterockplayers.ca.

Please come back to visit.

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