Central Alberta Theatre’s latest production, Unnecessary Farce, packs in lots of laughs and delightful ‘mayhem’ as it courses along, buoyed by an exceptional cast.
The action never lets up from the get-go in this engaging comedy, currently onstage at the Black Knight Inn through to Feb. 10th.
Superbly directed by Alexandra Taylor, the play, which was penned by Paul Slade Smith, revolves around a couple of hilarious cops (Perry Mill and Tara Rorke) in a crazy plan to pin a certain crime on the mayor (Brock Beal) by watching him via video from another hotel room.
Enter a mysterious Scottish hitman (Connor Lee), an accountant with a penchant for disrobing (Rachelle McComb) and the hilarious Agent Frank (Keenan Martz) and there is indeed lots of fun to go around.
Rounding out the cast is Kirstin Merriman as Mary Meekly, the mayor’s wife who has a few surprises up her own sleeve as well.
This is one of the best, fastest moving, snappiest CAT dinner theatre plays I’ve seen in awhile. Taylor has done a fabulous job with her talented cast – Mills and Rorke particularly shine as the likable duo of cops who constantly find themselves tangled in all sorts of wacky situations as they try in vain to nab their guy and see justice somehow served.
Honestly, Rorke is just terrific as Billie Dwyer, eager to make her mark as a young, newly-minted officer.
Rorke is a master of comic timing, fabulous expression, and at bringing the utmost of focus and dedication to her role, which has some of the best lines and loads of physical comedy to boot.
The same can be said for Mills – perfectly cast at Erik Sheridan.
Like Rorke, he’s just got this tremendous knack for crackling comedy – from the way he delivers his lines to the spectrum of emotions he can show as the plot unfolds. Every time I see Mills in any given show, he just gets better and better – the confidence is growing as is the strength of every single performance he tackles in any given production.
Also outstanding are Beal – who apparently joined the cast later on, and McComb who truly sparkles in a role that offers her loads of opportunities to show her genuinely funny abilities as a comic actress as well.
Martz, Lee and Merriman also turn in solid and genuinely funny performances, rounding out a nicely balanced blend of skills and talents reflected as the production unfolds.
Although it all melds together really well from singular performances to overall production, I know pulling off a comedy like this – complete with characters zipping around the set in any number of zany situations – is no small feat. Kudos to Taylor for crafting such a great, engaging show.
There is a real sharp chemistry amongst the cast as well – it’s obvious they had a lot of fun bringing it all together, and even on preview night it sparkled.
Surprisingly, the only lags came in the second act – but they were small, and I’m sure will be quickly ironed out as time moves on.
Again, it’s great to leave a show feeling you’ve been treated to a fun, extremely well-written production that brims with energy and wit from the get-go.
For ticket information, check out www.blackknightinn.com.