By Sheila Martindale
While I hate the somewhat pejorative term ‘amateur theatre’ I love the fact that ‘amateurs’ love what they do, and are prepared to put in endless hours of their free time doing it and making it perfect for their audience. Now in its sixty-ninth season, St. Luke’s Players always puts on a great show, placing audience enjoyment at the top of their priority list.
The two short plays in this first show of the season challenge us to re-think our attitudes about those in our society who are different from the norm. In The Twelve-Pound Look we see a woman who has left her successful and somewhat pompous husband in favour of being independent and alive. She is happy, a fact which infuriates the soon-to-be Sir Harry Sims. Wives should be quietly subservient, allowing the man of the house to make all the decisions. Carl Powell and Wendy Cornock play the main characters in this charming piece by J.M. Barrie. The fact that we want to smack the stupid guy’s face, and give the woman a wholesome cheer, says a lot about how well they play their parts.
Table #7 from Terence Rattigan’s Separate Tables, takes us back to the middle of the last century, to confront attitudes toward homosexuals. The character in question is Major Pollock, admirably played by Eric Grace, who lives with a number of respectable people in a low-grade hotel on England’s south coast. It is discovered in a newspaper article that he has been charged with picking up young men on the promenade, and this causes a scandal of immense proportions. The plot hinges on how his fellow-guests react to this information. Of particular importance is a shy and nervous young girl (Heather Lee) who is dominated by her busybody mother (Rosalind Coleman) and the hotel manager (Colleen Davis) all of whom depict their roles with enlightening clarity. The small part of Lady Matheson is wonderfully undertaken by Penny Pitcher. The large cast all work well together to make a satisfying whole, and we see clever character development.
Both plays are directed by Michael King.
This show runs until October 22; to obtain your tickets, call 250-477-6741.
St. Luke’s Church Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Road.