QUIET MOMENT- Nevada Banks and Mike Mohr rehearse a scene from A Chorus of Disapproval recently. The production is running at the Arts Centre through Dec. 4.

A Chorus of Disapproval engaging despite a few snags

As Red Deer College Theatre Studies embarks on week two of its current production A Chorus of Disapproval, hopefully elements that got in the way of the engaging show clear up.

Directed by Jeff Page, the show runs through Dec. 4 on the Arts Centre mainstage. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. A matinee runs Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. as well.

Written by Alan Ayckbourn, the play follows a cast as they ‘plot and scheme’ their way through an amateur rehearsal of The Beggar’s Opera.

Guy Jones joins the cast just hoping to step back into life after losing his wife a year earlier. As the bumpy rehearsal schedule unfolds, he finds himself in one unexpected quandary after another and best of all, he keeps landing larger roles in the show.

Mike Mohr plays Guy to perfection, capturing all the man’s earnestness, innocence wonderfully. As Page noted in an earlier interview, what happens when you put an ‘everyman’ in with a bunch of eccentrics? Mohr shows audiences the answer to that question, absolutely shining in the part.

Jesse Byiers is also terrific as ‘at-his-wit’s-end’ director Dafydd ap Llewellyn and Nevada Banks is also outstanding as his wife Hannah, trying to sort out her own frustrations and issues (she and Guy also strike up a romance) while acting under her husband’s demanding direction as well. And speaking of romance, some of the play’s funniest moments stem from Guy’s ‘interactions’ with Fay Hubbard (Katie Orsten) who holds, shall we say, unconventional approaches to relationships much to Guy’s initial delightful confusion.

Amber Whitebone is also hilarious as the sharp-tongued stage manager Bridget Baines.

Ultimately, the cast as a whole are a treat to watch. The only obstacle, at times, was hearing every word they had to say. To my understanding, that problem had been largely dealt with after opening night, but it was still an issue from time to time during the performance I saw. Tackling British accents, even though they were done well, also didn’t exactly make some of the softer voices easier to make out.

As to the script, it’s a charming tale but the momentum tends to slow when we see some of Guy’s goings-on behind the scenes. The conversations go on too long and although of course these elements are key to the script, they are too often drawn-out portions of the play.

Still, A Chorus of Disapproval is visually a pleasure, and there are lots of strong, expressive moments that offer the students much to work with — both acting-wise and musically. A tighter pace and bolstered clarity in hearing the entire production would do plenty to add to its appeal.

A Chorus of Disapproval is recommended for ages 14 and up.

For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 403-340-4455 or visit www.ticketmaster.ca.

mweber@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deerians come together to ‘light the night’

Traditional Red Deer Lights the Night sees thousands

Klaus trial continues with cross-examination of undercover officers

The Castor-area triple homicide trial continued on Friday

WATCH: Red Deerians get a taste of robotics

Alberta students show off their skills in Red Deer

Red Deer RCMP make high volume of arrests

Numerous suspects arrested in relation to property crime offences

Red Deer RCMP arrest two with multiple stolen IDs

Men had allegedly had stolen information from 15 people

WATCH: Red Deerians get a taste of robotics

Alberta students show off their skills in Red Deer

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Bank of Canada cautious of future rate hikes

The Bank of Canada remains cautious on future rate hikes due to low- inflation risk

London theatre received allegations against Kevin Spacey

The theatre said Thursday the 20 allegations deal with incidents between 1995 and 2013.

Da Vinci’s Christ painting sells for record $450M

The painting, “Salvator Mundi,” Latin for “Savior of the World,” is one a few paintings by Leonardo known to exist

Loblaws closing 22 stores, launching home delivery ahead of ‘difficult year’

“We are excited about our future. But…we expect 2018 will be a difficult year,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw CEO.

Walk of Fame bash celebrates David Suzuki, Donovan Bailey, Anna Paquin

Suzuki says he’ll be thinking of his late parents as he accepts the honour

Trudeau to personally unveil Liberals’ peacekeeping plan

This marks Canada’s first tangible step back into peacekeeping

Blake Shelton named Sexiest Man Alive 2017

“I think to describe myself as a child, one word comes to mind. And that’s fat.”

Most Read