Bull in a China Shop brings down curtain on St. Luke’s season

Saanich community theatre group stages comedy about six spinsters vying for the attention of a homicide detective

The St. Luke’s Players are closing their 2015-16 season with Bull in a China Shop, a quirky comedy about six swooning old ladies who get the attention of a handsome homicide detective by conducting a murder.

The final show of the season is on for the St. Luke’s Players, and while its title seems reckless and dangerous, it’s actually entertaining and hilarious.

Bull in a China Shop is a gut-busting unrequited love story about a half-dozen spinsters vying for the attention of Dennis O’Finn, a handsome homicide detective who lives across the street. The quirky comedy rounds out St. Luke’s 2015-16 season with a healthy dose of laughter, according to director Michael King.

“They spy on him through their binoculars – they have to figure out a way for him to come and visit, and the only way is by creating a homicide, so one of their number has to die,” said King.

While the premise of murder may make it seem like a dark comedy, it’s really a lighthearted show, said King.

“It’s silly, it’s fun – it’s six old ladies in love with a younger man all at the same time, swooning over him,” he said. “There’s the poisoning, there are tea parties, there are arrests – it all makes for a good play.”

This isn’t King’s first foray into a murder-focused production with St. Luke’s: a few years back, he played the killer in the comedic thriller I’ll Be Back Before Midnight. After that, he directed the dramedy Welfarewell and was slated to call the shots on Steel Magnolias, but fell ill and missed out on the southern show.

Bull in a China Shop marks his return to St. Luke’s, and for King, it’s been a lot of fun putting together the season-ending production.

“There are eight women in the cast, four men, and the six women who play the little old ladies are a hoot,” he said. “Anybody’s going to love seeing these six possible maiden aunts – everybody knows one of them.”

Eventually, O’Finn figures out he is the motive for the murder, making for some exciting hijinks in the latter half of the play.

The show debuts at St. Luke’s Hall on Wednesday night, with another 10 performances left before the community theatre group takes the summer off. Bull in a China Shop has 7:30 p.m. performances May 20 to 22 and 25 to 28, as well as 2 p.m. matinées on May 21, 22, 28 and 29.

Tickets are $16 and may be purchased at the door or in advance through ticketrocket.co or eventbrite.ca (search “Bull in a China Shop”). Tickets can also be purchased by phone at 250-590-6291 or in person from the Intrepid Theatre box office at #2 – 1609 Blanshard St., Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And while the 2015-16 season comes to a close, the St. Luke’s Players have already announced the lineup for their next season: A Murder is Announced (Oct. 12 to 23), Aladdin (Dec. 16 to Jan. 2, 2017), Duets (March 8 to 19, 2017) and The Robin Hood Caper (May 17 to 28, 2017).

For more information, visit stlukesplayers.org.

 

jacob.zinn@saanichnews.com

 

 

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