(Posted 1:30 p.m., Aug. 15)
Indeed, Sir!' indeed
By Fred Sherwin
Quagmire, played by Sarah Allen, jumps on
the back of Bob Dogooder, who was played by
Francis Kenny, as her sister Maylene Quagmire
and their mother Lavinia Quagmire, played
by Kattie Grattan and Sarah Benfield look
on during the Vintage Stock Theatre production
of 'Murder Indeed, Sir'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Stock Theatre made a triumphant return to their home away
from home this week with the latest in a series of murder
mystery productions that date back to the mid-90s.
Indeed, Sir!" contained all of the elements that
make up an excellent murder mystery production and which
Vintage Stock has become synonymous with -- eccentric
characters, lively interaction between the cast members
and the audience, a beautiful setting on the grounds of
the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, and lastly a wonderful
dinner culminating with the revelation of the murderer.
first of two sold out shows took place on Aug. 6 late
in the afternoon on a perfect midsummer day.
a local boy makes good and returns to his hometown with
his new wife in tow along with her personal butler, the
town rolls out the red carpet. But not everyone is impressed.
Vencher is a war hero who wants to introduce his new bride
to his Canadian roots, but in doing so he rubs a few people
the wrong way, including his sister Elizabeth Jumper who
is upset that he missed their father's funeral. She is
also unhappy with his attitude towards the family farm
which he wants no part of.
busybody Wilhelmina "Billie" Pelham has arranged
a Welcome Back Tea for Teddy and his betrothed Cecilia
Vencher, but is distracted by the town drunk, Pittman
Quagmire who also happens to be the brother of Mayor Lavinia
Quagmire who has her hands full with her teenage daughters
Enid and Maylene, played by Sarah Allen and newcomer Katie
the play unfolds, it's clear that Vencher has an ulterior
motive to visiting his hometown other than wanting to
show his wife where he grew up.
the lead up to the tea he argues with his sister and threatens
to sell the farm from underneath her. He has words with
Lavinia about their own plans for the farm. Before they
can continue their discussion, however, Vencher unceremoniously
kicks the bucket after drinking a cup of his favourite
potential suspects include his wife's butler, Townson,
a man of few words who is completely devoid of any sense
of humour; his sister Elizabeth; and, of course, the mayor.
Dogooder, a retired OPP officer who was injured while
on duty, is charged with solving the crime. During dinner
the audience was invited to question the characters as
they pass from table to table.
evening culminated with the elimination of each character
as a suspect until the list was narrowed down to the guilty
party who, in this case, was Lavinia Quagmire. Apparently,
she was upset with Vencher for trying to double cross
her over the purchase of his deceased father's property.
of the interesting aspects of the Vintage Stock Theatre
murder mystery production is that each script is written
with two or three possible murderers which can change
from one night to the other.)
own prime suspect was the butler. Never trust a man with
only one name -- what are they trying to hide anyway --
and never trust a man with a complete lack of humour.
for the performances on the night that I saw the production
they were all top notch, I especially liked Deachman's
portrayal of Pittman Quagmire, and Francis Kenny makes
a welcome return to Vintage Stock Theatre as Bob Dogooder.
Sam Lipovski was superb as Cecilia Vencher, and Karine
Longpré and Rob Pettifer were both on top of their
game as Teddy Vencher and Elizabeth Jumper.
Old Player and VSS veteran Chris Shackleton was at his
sardonic best as the British butler, and Sarah Benfield
delivered yet another outstanding performance as Livinia
last but by no means least, there is Orléans grand
dame of amateur theatre, Marni Hunt-Stephens who both
wrote the script and co-starred as Billie Pelham.
you had the misfortune of missing out on this year's production,
be sure to get on Vintage Stock Theatre's e-mail list
to get advance notice of next year's murder mystery extravaganza
and avoid the sold out blues. Their website can be found
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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