(Posted 6 a.m.,
is for 'marvelous':
Vintage Stock's latest effort a wonderful whodunit
By Fred Sherwin
Smith and Sarah Benfield are just two of the extremely talented cast members in
Vintage Stock Theatre's latest murder mystery production 'M is for Murder'. Fred
foiled again. I've been going to Vintage Stock Theatre's murder mystery production
for the past six years now and I have yet to figure out who the murderer is.
is for Murder" was supposed to be my chance to break my streak. Instead,
Vintage Stock's latest production had me switching suspects every five minutes.
source of my confusion is the play's author Marni Hunt-Stephens who outdid herself
with this latest script. The secret to writing the perfect murder mystery play
is to establish a long list of possible suspects with plausible motives.
is for Murder" has at least five genuine suspects, any one of whom could
have murdered the victim who shall remain nameless in case you decide to go to
the encore production of the play this Saturday.
well-crafted as the script is, it takes a wonderfully talented cast to really
hoodwink the audience, and "M" is blessed with a mix of murder mystery
veterans like Haydon Smith, who is at his quirky best as a stuttering school teacher
with self-esteem issues, and first-timers like Chris Shackleton who is brilliant
as Maurice H. Morris.
the other veteran Vintage Stock members in the cast are Sarah Benfield who plays
the Hollywood starlet Bobbie Kennett; Dan Smythe who plays Horace Lemonby; siblings
Sydney and Tyler Smith who play Osmund and Porcelinea Lemonby; Andre Dimitrijevic
who plays Anselm Goodman; and Ian McGregor who plays Jaspar Gatsby..
rest of the cast is rounded out by Amber Boucher who plays Norma-June Dickens;
Claudia Carino as Norah Goodman; and Stephens herself who plays Pearl Goodman.
Dan Johnston will appear in this weekend's production as Ogden Lemonby.
play is set in Cumberland Village in 1955 on the eve of the Village Fête which
is being organized by Pearl Goodman. Bobbie Kennett is a local girl who ran away
to Hollywood to become a movie star.
the Village Fête is about to take place, Kennett returns to town with her producer
Jaspar Gatsby in tow, and his assistant Maurice H. Morris. Horace lemonby has
also come to town with the hope of getting his kids in Gatsby's next movie.
the play progresses, we learn that Lemonby has a history with some of the other
characters including the school teacher, Charlton E. Dickens, and his sister Norma-Jean.
won't give the rest of the play away, but suffice to say all is not what it seems.
in the past, this year's Vintage Stock Theatre murder mystery production is performed
entirely on the grounds of the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, which allows
for lots of space for the actors to do their thing and for the audience to interact
and ask questions. This leads to a great deal of improv, which is when the cast
is at their best.
for "M is for Murder", which include a wonderfully catered dinner in
the museum's picnic shelter, are available on the Vintage Theatre website at www.vintagestock.on.ca.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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