St. Luke’s brings whodunnit to the stage

Laura plays at St. Luke’s Hall from May 16 to 27

Beverly van Druten-Blais (left), Julie Gray and Colleen Davis are among the cast of Laura, which the St. Luke’s Players are bringing to the stage from May 16 to 27. (Photo submitted)

The St. Luke’s Players promise to keep the audience guessing when they return to the stage later this month.

The Saanich-based theatre company will be bringing Laura to the stage, running May 16 to 27 at St. Luke’s Hall.

“Laura was originally developed as a novel by Vera Caspary. It was from a series of femme fatale novels she wrote in the early 1940s,” said director Don Keith, who expects the show to bring some surprises to the audience.

“They can expect an intriguing plot, some turns and twists, and some very interesting characters.”

Many might be familiar with its adaption to the big screen, a popular film from 1944 starring Gene Tierney and a young Boris Karloff.

“It’s much different than the movie and much different than the novel. Anyone familiar with the movie may not recognize the play,” said Keith, a veteran director who has brought hundreds of productions to the stage.

“I’ve done hundreds of plays and musicals since the 1960s but I’ve always steered away from murder mysteries. This one intrigued me, it grabbed my attention and I didn’t realize until the last few pages who the murderer was.”

Keith said the three-act play features a cast of eight with clues set up strategically to keep the audience guessing.

“This one has lots of red herrings, lots of corners and deviations and plot twists,” said Keith, adding a recent rehearsal of the last act sent chills up his spine.

“As with many murder mysteries there’s a detective trying to figure things out. The interesting thing about this detective is he falls in love with one of the suspects. He’s trying to do his job but he’s also falling for this woman, whose charms are irresistible.”

Keith was a high school drama teacher in Kelowna, where he also worked in the theatre.

“I never intended to be a drama teacher but it’s one of those things where you fall into things you love,” said Keith, who moved to Victoria after his retirement.

Keith may be retired from his career but not from his love of theatre, and he has found some kindred spirits with the St. Luke’s Players.

“St. Luke’s is a really fun group to be involved with,” he said. “It’s really fun to work with community theatre players. They bring their passion and their interest and their learning to the situation.”

The cast of Laura includes Jonathan Ure Stoppi, Daniel Gallant, Bill Tolson, Geoffrey Davidson, Julie Gray, Beverly van Druten-Blais, Colleen Davis and Anton Brakhage

Laura will be on stage at St. Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd., May 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. Matinees run May 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 and available at the door, online at eventbrite.ca or at the Papery, 669 Fort St.


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