Central Alberta Theatre is gearing up for its next dinner theatre production – Soul Mate – which opens Jan. 14th at the Black Knight Inn.
Shows run through to Feb. 11th.
According to a synopsis, “For centuries demons have played the game of offering mortals their fondest wish in exchange for their souls.”
When Moira Bedham gets drawn into the sport by Phillip, the unexpected choice of her victim may be more than anyone (or any demon) expected. “What results is a high-spirited comedy of demons, desire and discovering humanity.”
There are two demons who are playing a game for a human soul – a little something that demons do to pass the time, explains director Albertus Koett. “One is being introduced to, as they call it, the ‘great game’.
“The one demon is kind of showing the ropes to the other one. Phillip loves to be on earth. Moira is tired of it – she just wants to go. So she’s ready to leave, but Philip doesn’t want her to go just yet.”
So he introduces her to the ‘great game’ and tells her that if the games turns out to amaze, startle and stun her, then she must agree to stay on earth forever. On the other hand, she points out that if she’s not essentially blown away by the game, then Phillip has to be her servant forever.
“So those are the stakes that are set up really early in the show. It’s not that they are competing for souls – Phillip is trying to show Moira how exciting and fun it can be,” said Koett.
Penned by David Belke, the play stars Tori Grebinski, Tara Rorke, Richard Jackson and Jason Steele.
Koett said Soul Mate could be described as a smart comedy. “It’s not a farce, so it’s not a laugh per minute type of thing. What struck me the most when I was reading it were the characters. I really liked the characters – it was less about the comedy and the situations and more that the characters just jumped out – I could see them right away. I knew who they were, and what their motivations were. That was something that I really enjoyed when I first read the script.”
Koett also describes Belke’s writing style as character-driven with fun twists. “This is also a fast-paced script, and that’s something that we have pushed hard for – creating a fast pace for the show,” he noted of the rehearsal process. “There’s a few scenes where people are almost talking on top of each other and it’s a challenge to craft that into a narrative that the audience pick up.”
In the meantime, Koett, who is also a very talented actor in his own right, said that he’s been leaning more to the director side of things for some time now.
“I love the collaboration with people. And one of the things I try to do as a director is not be a dictator. I listen to people and listen to their ideas and we put it together from there. That’s something that I enjoy.”
Meanwhile, according to his web site, Belke fills many different roles in the theatre – performer, producer, designer, teacher and award-winning playwright.
His plays have been performed across Canada, as well as in the United States, England, Northern Ireland, India, Ghana and Greece. He currently works as resident playwright with Edmonton’s Shadow Theatre where he is also in charge of new play development.
Active in Edmonton’s theatre community, Belke also currently serves as the Alberta regional representative for the national council of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and is vice president of the board for Alberta Playwrights Network.
For ticket information, visit www.blackknightinn.ca.