May 17, 2018

REVIEW | Desperately Speaking Susan

Local Community Theatre Boomerangs Crowd to Australia & Back Again, in Smash Production of 'Just the Ticket'

Shows put on by the Dunnville Community Theatre [DCT] should have to come with a disclaimer.

Something along the lines of, “Warning: Attending a DCT production may cause spontaneous outbursts of laughter, teary eyes as a result of heartfelt moments and a uncontrollable desire for more and more and MORE!”.

All of the above applied when I had the pleasure of attending the production of Peter Quilter's Just the Ticket, recently put on by the DCT.

Joining me for the event were my sister Kim and my neighbour Deanna. We had front row seats and sat with the show’s producer Nancy Erskine as we enjoyed a clever production where five talented ladies portrayed one somewhat flamboyant and vocal character by the name of Susan.

Susan is going on vacation to Australia. Traveling solo on her trip "down under", she chats up a storm with other airport passengers, fellow tourists and a bartender she is smitten with, by the name of Bill. What makes this part unique is that we don’t actually see the people Susan is speaking to, but through the magic of convincing acting, we are lead to believe they are right there on stage with her.

Collectively portraying the role of Susan were Judy Wenjina, Tracey Stirling, Diane Morris, Candace Stern and Sheila Schumacher. 

One actor would play out a portion of a scene then cleverly exit the stage with the next actor quickly picking up where the other had left off. Making it appear seamless meant plenty of rehearsals and the purchasing of five identical for each of the five “Susan’s” (and there were several costume changes.)

I imagine it could also be a challenge for the actors. If they were to forget their dialogue, there was no one else on stage to prompt them to recall their next line. Fortunately everyone on stage was a seasoned actor and if there were any flubbed lines, they were barely noticeable.

This was the first DCT production I had attended in well over a year and there was a multitude of emotional, friendly hugs shared with the cast and crew of this close-knit community theatre, both before and after the show.

We laughed, we got choked up and we were thoroughly entertained. When it came to an enjoyable night out at a live show this production was truly “just the ticket”.