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.

 

Just Posted

Bill Gaston, Monique Gray Smith capture Victoria Book Prizes for 2018

Butler Book Prize and Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize winners collect $5,000 each

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read