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.

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

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Alan Tudyk stars as Alien Harry Vanderspeigel in the new series Resident Alien (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)
Resident Alien brings Vancouver Island to the small screen with January premiere

Quirky series shot in Ladysmith will air every Wednesday on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March and local theatre artists Brianna Hamilton and Daniel Puglas (from left) make up Western Edge’s new team of “artistic associates.” (News Bulletin file photos/Courtney Harder)
Nanaimo theatre company adds younger, diverse voices to artistic team

Western Edge hopes new ‘artistic associates’ will help form new ideas, reach new audiences

Most Read