Take a campground, fill it full of strangers, throw in a missing person, and you have the most hilarious camping-trip-turned-murder-mystery you’ll ever experience.
Campground: A Murder Mystery in the Woods (with songs) is writer and actor Lucas Myers’ take on the frustration that comes with getting to know your campground neighbours — whether you want to or not. On April 7 and 8, he’s bringing the show to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.
Myers got the inspiration for the play after his own run-in with fellow campers.
“I was camping with my family and we didn’t have spoons or something,” he said in an interview with Black Press. “We had to go to the total rednecks in the camper next door, who were running their generator at seven in the morning, and we were cursing them out, and they ended up being the sweetest people.”
Myers decided to turn his experience into something relatable that he could share with others.
“So I was thinking how can I make this idea into an interesting show?” he said. “What if there are a bunch of people in the campground who are somehow connected? That’s when I came up with the idea of there being a missing person and maybe they’ve found his camera, and there’s some footage on it that tells a story, and they’re all connected to him.”
And to make the show that much more relatable and interactive for his audience, Myers has created Facebook profiles for some of the characters — you can add hipster Justin Case and hear more about his conversion to a gluten-free lifestyle, or see more photos of Michael Hogkins’ lifted truck than you really want to. During his investigation Detective Shelly, the inexperienced police officer, excited to finally be on a case, actually uses Facebook.
“During the show I actually go online, onto Facebook, when he’s interviewing the ‘suspects,’ and we can see him via projector,” Myers said.
This tour is the second version of the show; Myers revised the first after receiving feedback from murder-mystery writer and fellow resident of Nelson, B.C., Deryn Collier.
“It’s not dramatically different, but it’s a streamlined version of the same story,” he said.
Collier decided to contact Myers with feedback after he asked the audience at one of his shows to do so.
“I wouldn’t willy-nilly call someone up and say ‘I want to work with you, I want to collaborate,’” she said. “I have to be careful how many stories are in my head. As an artist, your gift is your mindset, your imagination, so being conscientious with how you’re using that is really important.”
Full of characters filling stereotypes that feel a little too personal, and situations that most audiences have already experienced, Campground: A Murder Mystery is brutally — but hysterically — honest. And that’s what makes it so endearing.
Campground: A Murder Mystery in the Woods is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on April 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25 and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).