"Rumors," the newest production from the Strathmore Theatre Players' Guild, tells an engaging, chaotic story about a situation most are all too familiar with: jumping to conclusions on largely baseless information.
The comedy/farce centres around a group of partygoers all trying to learn what happened to their host, the deputy mayor, without any of them having witnessed the incident themselves. In typical rumor mill fashion, the "truth" of the situation is distorted as each person takes away their own conclusions, while also trying to hide the "true" story from other people.
The show wastes no time, as the rumors immediately begin within the opening minutes of the show, interesting the audience right away. As the rumors pick up and the tension grows, the comedy and intrigue only increase as well, making this an entertaining ride from start to finish.
Outside of the rumors themselves, the biggest part of the show is actually physical comedy, pulled off masterfully and hilariously by the actors. On top of managing an unravelling situation, many characters also have to battle things like temporary deafness or neck soreness, only complicating the situation further and creating more opportunities for the actors and comedy to shine.
The actors' ability to pull off great physical comedy scenes also highlights the incredible writing of playwright Neil Simon, who is constantly hitting the audience with a variety of jokes so one never grows stale. No joke overstays its welcome — the neck soreness is a perfect example, as this very easily could've become annoying rather than funny if overdone — and the combination of physical comedy, quick one-liners, longer set-up jokes, and situational comedy keeps the show entertaining from start to finish.
Director Robert Cole hopes the audience can share in the fun the actors had when bringing the play to life.
"When you're rehearsing a comedy such as this, the first week or two as the cast goes through it, they will have a very hard time getting through the script because they will break each other up, they'll start laughing," he said.
On top of being a great show worth seeing on its own merit, Cole added live theatre is also a great way to bring the community together. For example, three brand new actors joined the group because they heard about or saw how fun it could be to participate in live theatre, and some of the props are generously donated by local businesses to bring the production to life.
"The railings and all that sort of stuff were provided by a local staircase company, and they hadn't even thought about it. They just got a link and went, 'oh, do you guys want some pieces,' so the community connection starts to grow every time we do more shows and if we can bring in just a couple extra people every single show, hopefully, it grows back into the community, which is our biggest thing."
The show is performed at Hope Community Covenant Church begins on March 16, and will run for three consecutive weekends, being:
- March 16-18
- March 23-25
- March 30- April 1
You can buy tickets at the Vault, at the door when you arrive, or online here.
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