Michael Romano stars as Dr. Harlow in That Elusive Spark, Langham Court Theatre’s next production. Daguerrotype effect by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

Langham Court production a psychological comedy

That Elusive Spark the latest Janet Munsil-penned script to be staged in Rockland

A real-life historical medical case and a woman’s current-day emotional and psychological struggle intertwine in Langham Court Theatre’s next production, That Elusive Spark.

Written by local playwright Janet Munsil, the story follows the strange and amazing, yet true case of a construction foreman who survived an 1848 explosion which caused a metal bar to enter his head and pierce his brain. Physician John Harlow (Michael Romano) attends to the wounded man, Phineas Gage (Trevor Hinton), whose resulting severe personality changes left his family struggling to adjust.

The modern timeline follows the career and emotional struggles of neuropsychologist and Harlow descendant Helen Harlow (Kassianni Austin). Having once had a promising future, she now teaches Psychology 101, lives in a frat house basement and suffers from depression and the stress of constant uncertainty.

Despite the serious nature of the subject matter, Munsil has created a complex and layered comedy overseen in this production by director Mercedes Bátiz-Benét (Puente Theatre). She guides the cast through a weaving of the two scenarios, which, portrayed together explore the notion that despite scientific advances, society is still far from being able to fully understand how the mind works.

Commissioned by the Department of Theatre at UVic, That Elusive Spark was first produced by the Phoenix Theatre in 2005. This script is a good example of Munsil’s interest in creating plays that combine major concepts and societal themes with theatrical storytelling.

Most cast members in the Langham production play dual roles, shuttling between the eras, including Romano (Brian), Hinton (Hamlet), Lianne Coates (Wendy/Sophie), Aidan Dunsmuir (Jack/Jack) and Jessica Van Der Veen (Mrs. Adams/Phyl). Thomas Miller joins as Helen’s roommate Finlay.

That Elusive Spark runs from Feb. 27 to March 16. Tickets, $17-$25, are available online at langhamtheatre.ca, or reserve by phone at 250-384-2142. The box office is open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 6 to 8 p.m. on performance nights.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Powerful Russian folk trio makes triumphant return to city

Trio Voronezh back on Victoria stage for first time since appearing at Coupe Mondiale in 2013

Abbamania, Night Fever in spotlight at McPherson in Victoria

ABBA, Bee Gees songs will fill the Mac Feb. 7, along with Lady Gaga tribute

Vic High alumni named Victoria’s new Youth Poet Laureate

Neko Smart, the founder and coach of the Vic High slam poetry team, will serve a one-year term

Dance Victoria: The Trocks are in town!

Dance Days 2020 performance roster includes two powerhouse presentations

Pacific Opera Victoria exec member earns major honour

Yvette Guigueno to attend prestigious OPERA America leadership program this month in New York

Winners announced for inaugural Victoria Arts Council/Monday poetry contest

More than 100 entries received in five categories

Canadian polar bears’ ‘ingenious’ survival seen in BBC Earth series

Film crews also go to Tofino to watch black bears snap up crabs under massive boulders

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

The winners of London Drugs’ 2019 Amateur Photographer of the Year contest are…

After more than 26,000 entries, the winners have been selected across Western Canada.

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ filmmaker Dean DeBlois among Canadian Oscar nominees

Multiple Oscar-nominated Canadian talents on Academy Award hopefuls list

Most Read