St. Jacobs Country Playhouse Presents I'LL BE BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT, Now-3/30
The 2014 Season at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse is off to a fun and frightful start with I'll Be Back Before Midnight, the original comedy thriller. Full of plot twist and turns that are both subtle and sublime, this mischievous dark comedy is on stage through March 30th.
The story unfolds in an old country farmhouse that archaeologist Greg Sanderson has rented as a sanctuary for his emotionally fragile wife, Jan, as she recovers from a recent nervous breakdown while he continues his studies. What should have been a relaxing retreat quickly turns into a horrendous haven when their new landlord (and neighbour) lets it slip that a murder once took place in the house and a vengeful ghost is reported to stalk the night.
The line between reality and imagination becomes blurred as Jan is tormented by strange sounds in the night and visions of the spirit. Is she having another breakdown? Is someone trying to drive her mad? When she tries to defend herself from the apparition, events take an unexpected turn during a night of unimaginable suspense.
"I'll Be Back Before Midnight is a truly clever comedy that's so outrageous you can't help but laugh and scream," says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. "It juggles a number of themes: naivety, deceit, jealousy, arrogance, game playing - and manages not to drop any of them."
Director James Kall has done a tremendous job setting an exhilarating pace to maximize the shocking sequence of events in a very clever script. Kall builds palpable tension throughout this gripping comedy and he clearly brings out the best in each talented performer.
A cast of four has been assembled for this ghostly tale, including Daniela Vlaskalic as the sweet bundle of nerves, Jan Sanderson. Vlaskalic is chillingly convincing with Jan's delicate condition, flawlessly depicting a woman who is swiftly unravelling into a paranoid mess.
Andy Pogson makes his Drayton Entertainment debut as Jan's academic husband, Greg Sanderson. Pogson brilliantly captures Greg's quirky charm that's juxtaposed by a stiff academic exterior.
Also new to Drayton Entertainment, Elana Post creates further tension in this sharp-witted thriller as Jan's manipulative sister-in-law, Laura Sanderson. Smooth and polished with a dash of condescending malice, Post adds a stab of conflict when her arrival at the farmhouse displeases an already uneasy Jan.
Sandy Winsby takes on the role of the landlord/neighbour, George Willowby. A veteran actor with a number of Drayton Entertainment productions under his belt, Winsby brings the perfect amount of whisky-loving, country charm to a multifaceted character, and completely captures the seemingly well-intentioned man who loves to laugh and tell tall tales.
Set Designer Samantha Burson has created an authentically rustic farmhouse living room and Lighting Designer Steve Lucas amplifies this unsettling tale with eerie illuminations. Suitably casual wardrobe choices by Costumes DesignerJenine Kroeplin add dimension to each character. Fight Director Joe Bostick has choreographed remarkable scenes of physical tension.
Written by Peter Colley, I'll Be Back Before Midnight is considered the most widely produced stage play in Canadian history. It has broken numerous box office records including two record-breaking UK National Tours. It was made into a Hollywood feature film starring Heather Locklear, Ned Beatty, Robert Carradine, and Susannah York.
"I'll Be Back Before Midnight is a relentlessly hair-raising production. It's a wonderfully funny and spooky opener for the 2014 Season," says Mustakas.
Tickets are $42. Youth under 20 pay $25. For Groups of 20 or more, Tickets are $34. Discounts are also available with Subscription Packages. HST applies to all ticket prices. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.stjacobscountryplayhouse.com, in person at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse Box Office, or by calling (519) 747-7788 or toll free 1-855- DRAYTON (372-9866).
Photo Credit: Gary Moon