The St. Luke’s Players are kicking off 2016 with Cliffhanger, a comedic thriller about a philosophy professor who accidentally commits murder, leading to a number of suspenseful and humorous developments. The community theatre group has been working on the play since January and assure audiences will be excited by the unpredictable twist in the second act.

Cliffhanger will have you laughing on the edge of your seat

St. Luke’s Players present Cliffhanger, a mingling suspense and humour in Saanich

On paper, comedies and thrillers don’t go together, but the latest St. Luke’s Players production is mingling suspense and humour in an exciting new show.

Opening Wednesday night, the community theatre group’s rendition of James Yaffe’s Cliffhanger is an ingeniously plotted thriller about Henry Lowenthal, a mild-mannered philosophy professor who’s driven to murder to protect his reputation and career. Lowenthal and his wife Polly dispose of the body, but a nosy student of his named Melvin McMullen witnesses the act and threatens to go to the police – unless Lowenthal raises his failing grade.

All the while, Lt. David DeVito is on the case, adding another element of comedy to the suspenseful and unexpected events building up to the play’s big twist in the second act.

“We really push that hard that Melvin’s a really screwed up kid,” said director Penelope Harwood, “and the policeman is also a bit of a bumbling officer. Those are the real comedic elements in the play.”

Cliffhanger was chosen for the St. Luke’s 2015-16 season by its play reading committee for its ability to be recreated on their stage and its appeal to their usual audience. However, the script still needed some tweaking from Harwood.

“I had to cut a fair amount because Henry, the philosophy professor, loves to philosophize – he goes on and on and on and on,” she said.

“My main concern when directing a play is casting. If you cast well, a lot of your work is done for you, and I think I’ve cast well in this one.”

The St. Luke’s players started working on Cliffhanger at the beginning of January, after the pantomime Mother Goose wrapped up. Harwood said the cast rehearsed three to four times per week, and the production took dozens of people to put together.

“For every person you see onstage, there are probably five people putting them there,” she said. “There are at least 30 people working on this production. There’s a whole crew designing the set and building it, and that takes weeks and weeks.”

The St. Luke’s Players have 12 performances scheduled from March 9 and 20, and Harwood said the cast and crew are prepared for opening night this Wednesday.

“They’re ready for an audience,” she said. “You get a cast to a point where they need an audience, and that’s what you want – you want them peaking just in time for the opening.”

St. Luke’s Hall (located at 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd.) will host 7:30 p.m. shows on March 9 through 12 and 16 through 19, as well as 2 p.m. matinées on March 12, 13, 19 and 20.

Tickets are available online at stlukesplayers.org/tickets.html, by phone through Ticket Rocket at 250-590-6291, or in person at the Ticket Rocket box office, located at #2 – 1609 Blanshard St. Tickets may also be available at the door on performance night, subject to availability.

For more information, visit stlukesplayers.org.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Nanaimo musician plays all instruments on DIY debut album

Jamie Penner releasing guitar-centric instrumental record ‘Out of Curiosity’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Most Read