‘Aha’ a Christie to remember

Show moves to The Centre this weekend then Sidney’s Charlie White Theatre

Peninsula Players is breaking in its 60th season with an ‘aha’ moment.

“Agatha Christie produces one of her famous surprise endings in this one,” said Sid Clarke.

Clarke directs the community theatre groups’ presentation of the Agatha Christie whodunit The Unexpected Guest.

“In terms of its outcome it’s proved to be quite a polished performance,” Clarke said. “We’re in 60th year now so we hope to put on a pretty good show.”

There’s experience in the lead roles with Kathy Macovichuk as Laura Warwick.

“She puts on quite a performance,” Clarke said. “She has quite a bit of experience. It shows.”

Macovichuk, in her first role with the Players, has experience with St. Luke’s Players and in the Langham Court Theatre productions of The Odd Couple, Silver Dagger and Picnic. She was also part of several productions in Calgary before moving to Victoria a few years ago.

Supporting her is Perry Burton as Michael Starkwedder, also in his first Peninsula Players performance. Burton also has extensive experience, performing across Canada for decades. He settled in Victoria three years ago and has performed with St. Luke’s, Langham Court and Shakespeare in the Summer.

Clarke’s skill as a director is also a key ingredient, according to producer producer Chantelle Schieven.

“He has such a way of really pulling out of the actors what he really wants. He has an idea of who the character is and how to really pull and develop that character,” Schieven said.

The Unexpected Guest opens as a stranger walks into a house to find a man murdered and his wife standing over him with a gun. But the woman is dazed and her confession unconvincing. Rather than report her to the authorities, the unexpected guest decides to help her blame the murder on an intruder, someone with a clear motive to kill. Christie keeps the crowd puzzling and guessing to the very end.

At least first audiences of the Peninsula Players’ version did.

“It was very well received,” Schieven said of the first performances. “The audiences that came, they really seemed to enjoy it.”

Fresh off performances at The Berwick in Saanich, they’ll shift to the stage at The Centre in Brentwood Bay before working it to the large stage of the Charlie White Theatre.

“I was doing sound for the last show in the back of the theatre and after it was over, I had a couple people get up and say ‘that was just a good show’,” she said. “It goes through a twist of whodunit. and I think that’s the biggest thing. That ‘aha’ moment.”

Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors/students available at The Centre, or Charlie White Theatre in advance, or at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain. Visit peninsulaplayers.bc.ca to buy tickets online.

Tickets for the Charlie White shows will be buy-one-get-one for veterans in honour of Remembrance Day.

“It’s important to bring that in because we’re performing that day,” Schieven said.

The Unexpected Guest runs at The Centre, 1229 Clarke Rd. in Brentwood Bay on Nov. 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.

Performances in the Charlie White Theatre are Nov. 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.


60 years of community theatre

Peninsula Players’ 60th season continues with what has become a Chrstmas tradition, the pantomime.

This year they’ll offer Robin Hood — the panto written and directed by Allan Haynes, Dec. 9 to 29.

In March, the Players have planned to bring mirth and murder with Ron Clarke and Sam Bobrick’s Murder at the Howard Johnson’s. Matt Watson will direct.

The season is set to end with a little laughter, with Alan Aykroyd’s How the Other Half Loves, directed by Sid Clarke.

Visit peninsulaplayers.bc.ca for updated schedules and ticket sales.