Sherlock Holmes Meets Mary Poppins In SUSAN SWAYNE AND THE BEWILDERED BRIDE
Susan Swayne loves few things more than good manners, a sharp blade, and the challenge of bringing criminals to justice in the streets of Victorian London. But when a rival threatens her position in the Society of Lady Detectives, she begins to unravel a sordid little mystery that puts both her deductive reasoning and her decorum to the test!
With razor-sharp wit and even sharper blades, Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride by Reina Hardy is the next swashbuckling adventure to take over the Know MainStage.
Directed by Know Associate Artistic Director Tamara Winters, this unconventional take on the classic Victorian whodunit is part action-adventure, part queer sex farce, and part contemporary spin on the comedic chaos of Gilbert & Sullivan. Add in a vicious little murder mystery and comically compromising circumstances, and you have just the tonic for what ails you this holiday season.
In a time when murder and mayhem lurk amongst London's ubiquitous fog, Susan Swayne patrols the night, ready to deliver nefarious ne'er-do-wells both swift justice and a stern talking-to. After some vigorous fisticuffs thanks to a mistaken identity, Swayne makes the acquaintance of Isabelle Fontaine-Kite, a young bride desperately searching for her missing husband Eric.
Swayne invites Isabelle into the inner sanctum of the Society of Lady Detectives, and that's when the trouble really begins...
Director Tamara Winters is thrilled to get back into the director's chair for her first show since her maternity leave last spring - and she could not be more excited that this is the script she's diving back into:
"Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride is the kind of show we relish here at the Know - it's a rollicking good time that skewers our sexual hangups and our assumptions about identity on the pointed tip of a rapier blade.
With wit, irreverence, a giddy sense of chaos, gender-bending, and a killer cast of some of Cincinnati's most fabulous ladies, it's a patriarchy-smashing, iconoclastic adventure that also happens to be bitingly funny.
And couldn't we all use a few laughs and some hearty swashbuckling at the hands of some fantastic females right now?"
Speaking of her killer cast - Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride brings some of Know's favorite femmes fatale back to the MainStage.
Starring as Susan Swayne herself is Lisa DeRoberts, previously seen in 2015's Hearts Like Fists and 2016's Darkest Night at the Gnarly Stump (and recently seen on-screen in Robert Redford's The Old Man and the Gun!). Joining her as Swayne's secretive rival Katherine Denn is Jordan Trovillion, who slayed both hearts and minds as Hunter in 2017's Neverwhere.
Ernaisja Curry joins the fun as Isabelle Fontaine-Kite, after stealing scenes in 2016's Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood and her unforgettable turn as Door in 2017's Neverwhere.
Playing the young apprentices to the Society are current Northern Kentucky University senior Kearston Hawkins-Johnson and NKU alum Alexx Rouse. Kearston first appeared at the Know in 2017's Dragon Play, while Alexx is making her MainStage debut after putting several years of SecondStage and Fringe hits under her belt as both a writer and performer.
And rounding out the world of Susan Swayne are our two gentlemen: perennial favorite (and Cincinnati Fringe Festival Producer) Chris Wesselman and OTRimprov's own Nathan Tubbs - who most recently hit the Know stage as Icarus in 2017's Heavier Than...
But what Victorian murder mystery would be complete without a little swordplay, especially in a show first developed by Chicago's Babes With Blades Theatre? That's where the one and only Jonn Baca comes in, as Fight Director. Working alongside director Tamara Winters, Baca will stage the inventive and ingenious altercations that drive this comic caper.
Corsets, crossdressing, swords, wit, and wickedness - what more could you want from a holiday frolic? Running November 24 - December 16 at Your Theatrical Playground.
Cast in Alphabetical Order
Ernaisja Curry - Isabelle Fontaine-Kite
Lisa DeRoberts - Susan Swayne
Kearston Hawkins-Johnson - Adelaide
Regina Pugh* - Lady Alice Bomberry
Alexx Rouse - Madeline
Jordan Trovillion - Katherine Denn
Nathan Tubbs - Man #2
Chris Wesselman - Man #1
*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.
Director - Tamara Winters
Scenic & Lighting Designer - Andrew J. Hungerford
Prop Designer - Rebecca Armstrong
Costume Designer - Noelle Johnston
Sound Designer - Douglas Borntrager
Vocal Coach - Chaslee Schweitzer
Fight Director - Jonn Baca