In three acts, The Murder Room blends the intrigue of a whodunit with the lighter elements of a comedic farce.
The smart British mystery farce written by Jack Sharkey runs May 8-11 at G.W. Graham theatre, directed by Randy Newbury.
Set an old English cottage, the audience learns of a murder attempt, secret chambers, sliding doors and intriguing gadgets.
What happens when the so-called murder victim’s body suddenly mysteriously disappears?
Over-the-top mayhem ensues as everyone turns detective and it’s hilarious.
“The Murder Room is both quirky and funny,” said Newbury. “It makes you sit up and think.”
The setting is Bynwood Cottage in the U.K. and it was built by one of the characters in the play, Edgar Hollister, played by James Rawson.
The cast features six GWG students, including Rawson, along with Lucas Simpson, Alycia Duncan, Jasmine Rolls, Lauren Marshall and Mike Hayden.
“There’s a great balance of the new blood and familar faces. They’ve been working hard to make it a spectacular show.
It’s a family friendly production with aspects that will appeal to everyone, says the director.
“It’s funny and it’s great to see kids playing these parts.”
The larger-than-life characters allow for a lot of physical humour and the piece flows smoothly.
One reviewer called it a “good mixture of Agatha Christie, Monty Python and Abbott and Costello.”
Newbury, who has directed for the Players’ Guild as well, said he was thoroughly intrigued with the wonderful stage setup in the G.W. Graham Theatre.
“It’s a great theatre stage, and far better than the ones I got to work with when I was in high school,” he said.
About a year ago he was chatting with a friend about his desire to direct a play in the theatre, and soon after he was approached by Drama teacher Damon Fultz about the idea of directing a play.
“It’s been incredibly rewarding.”
He credits the hard work of everyone on the team from producer Fultz, and Susan Newbury, to stage manager Dale Spicer.
Not being faculty at the school, there was lots of time to devote to the production, he said.
“We’ve been having fun. Come check it out.”
The Murder Room at G.W. Graham $10/$5, May 8 to May 11 at 7:30, except 3 p.m. preview on May 7 by donation with proceeds to theatre scholarship fund, and a 2 p.m. matinée on May 11. Tickets at Save-On Foods, The Dogfather and the school. 604-847-0772.