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

Just Posted

MATHIEU POIRIER: Exciting changes in store for Great Canadian Beer Fest

Annual celebration of craft beer expands to include more breweries from around the country

BEHIND BARS: Tag team ‘tenders driving the Barts’ bar

Matt Chaffe and Curtis Kidd keep locals and tourists cool during the summer season downtown

Roller skating fever taking over Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Learn about a life of luxury at Victoria’s historic Point Ellice House

New political exhibit part of grand reopening at the House this weekend, July 20-21

World of electronic musical wonders await at long weekend festival

Wonderment ambient/downtempo music festival slips into bridge plaza, Banfield Park Aug. 3-4

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Esquimalt Ribfest in need of volunteers for September weekend

The three-day celebration of barbecue, music and more happens Sept. 6 to 8

Fashionable ode to the sea goes Friday at Fort Common

Local sustainable fashion retailers to strut their latest as part of ocean conservation fundraiser

Brentwood Bay brings $5 concerts every Wednesday evening

Variety of music on offer: picnics, good vibes and family friendly

Schitt’s Creek and its stars among Canadians with Emmy nominations

Co-creator Eugene Levy thought they had chance for one nomination, ‘then they kept rolling in’

Most Read