SLEUTH Debuts at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts Next Month

Performances run February 8-24.

By: Jan. 26, 2024
SLEUTH Debuts at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts Next Month

An elaborate game of cat and mouse is set to open on the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) mainstage with the February 8 premiere of Sleuth. A staged screenplay by Harold Pinter and based on the Tony Award Winning play by Anthony Shaffer, the WICA production is directed by David Churchill and coincides with the City of Langley’s Murder Mystery Weekend (February 24 and 25). With a three-week run (February 8-24), Sleuth is a “quick-witted [and] theatrical” play with numerous plot twists and homage to literary icons like Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“Think of the perfect murder…then go one step further,” says Churchill. “Sleuth has been entertaining audiences for more than fifty years. WICA’s February production melds the original script with the screenplay by Harold Pinter, one of the most revered playwrights in the world of theater. The result is a fast paced, twisting thrill ride that is sure to keep audiences guessing until the final shocking moments.”

Set among the quaint English countryside in the house of celebrated mystery writer Andrew Wyke, the play pits Wyke against his young rival Milo Tindle in an elaborate revenge and power game. Originally premiering on Broadway in 1970, the 1972 film adaptation featured Laurence Olivier (Wyke) and Michael Caine (Tindle) and earned four Academy Award nominations. The second film adaptation in 2007, which was directed by Kenneth Branagh, starred Michael Caine (Wyke) and Jude Law (Tindle).

WICA’s adaptation of the play features Seattle-trained actor David Mayer as Andrew Wyke. Mayer is a veteran of other WICA performances, including his recent portrayal as the Duke of Aumerle and King Henry the Fourth in the December production of Scott Kaiser’s Falstaff in Love. He is joined by cousins Ethan Berkley and Jonathan Janus. Berkley, a Whidbey Island local who is no stranger to the WICA mainstage, will play Milo Tindle. His cousin Jonathan Janus, who is making his WICA debut, will be playing Inspector Black. 

“I’ve loved this script for years,” says Deana Duncan, WICA’s executive artistic director. “Sleuth won the Tony Award for best play in 1971…but I wasn’t sure it was ‘fresh’ enough for today. Then we stumbled upon the script to the 2007 Harold Pinter screenplay version, knitted it together with the original brilliant/heart stopping Shaffer ending and realized we had a new, original, and tantalizing revenge play. This clever, caustic game of deception escalates into psychological warfare; if you love games and mystery you won’t want to miss this production!”

Tickets for Sleuth are on sale now. To learn more about the production and to purchase tickets, visit www.wicaonline.org.




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