VIDEO: Clever play offers humour, satire, character development: and a great night out in Duncan

The action begins when Vanya decides he wants an early cup of coffee. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Sonia mourns that her life is going nowhere. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Sonia and Vanya have been managing together but it’s not all been happy. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Masha stuns her brother Vanya by arriving with her toy boy, Spike. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Masha is used to being centre stage and attempts to pull the spotlight back to herself. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Masha welcomes Spike back from his swim in the pond. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Nina exults at meeting Masha but the famous actress is less than thrilled. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
The audience gasped as an excited Masha leaps onto her young boyfriend, Spike. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Cassandra lives up to her name, giving Masha a dire warning. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Pretty young actress, Nina, tells Vanya that his play sounds great. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Cassandra sticks a long pin into a ‘Masha’ doll so the actress won’t sell Vanya and Sonia’s house. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

The Mercury Players have a hit on their hands in Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike, which continues its run Oct. 25-27.

A tremendously clever play by Christopher Durang, this show offers a talented cast a lot of scope for both character development and fun, and under the direction of Gregg Perry, the audience on opening night last week was treated to plenty of both.

Of course, this play requires a specific cast, and the Merc had this on hand.

For the role of Spike, they needed a brash, good looking, young guy who loves to run around in his underwear, and they knew of one: James Meyer (who will surely now be known as Spike by the many friends who saw the show opener).

Another absolutely necessary cast member was an actress able to play a beautiful predatory cougar and they discovered Elizabeth Brimacombe, who is making her Mercury debut in this show.

On top of that, there was a call for a warm-hearted nutcase. Leslie Sanchez? She’s up for it. Check. They also needed an enthusiastic girl about the same age as Spike, and golly, they had one in Celeste Borjeau.

And, the foundation stones of the entire scenario were a fading, disgruntled brother and sister of uncertain age and uncertain future. Jim Cleough and Syvia Swift? Yep, got ‘em.

Taking that winning hand into rehearsals must have seemed like a dream to director Perry.

This show is brimful of outstanding performances as the surprising characters shed their outer skins in many ways.

The ingenue sees more clearly than anyone expects, the daft psychic is actually right much of the time, the young lover boy is a snake in the grass, and the self-centred movie star is frightened of the future.

To top that, and believe me, they can do it, the moaning sister pulls herself together, steals the limelight and lands her first date in decades while the going-nowhere brother learns his life has not been as dead-and-alive as he thought, and he is inspired to present his play, and makes a new friend amidst a firestorm of emotion that roils around the stage.

Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike is a play based on clever dialogue, so be sure you’ve had your coffee before the show because you want to be alert to catch everything that’s going on.

It’s worth it.

Shows continue Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the Mercury Theatre at 331 Brae Rd. in Duncan.

Tickets are $22 for adults, with students and seniors getting in for $17 each.

“Unfortunately, we had to raise our ticket prices to cover current and future costs of our venue,” the group posted online.

Tickets are available from Ten Old Books, and First Chiropractic Clinic in Duncan.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lexi Bainas column: Singers, actors needed for thre exciting upcoming productions

‘The Winter’s Tale’, ‘Little Women’, and Mass for St. Cecilia are all calling: are you up for them?

Robert Barron column: Winter can be hard, but it brings back good memories

I would carefully poke the handle of the shovel through the snow until it bumped into a solid object

Andrea Rondeau column: What are your time capsule must-haves?

It would also be fun to include some pop culture mementos that represent our time.

Climbers compete for Choc and Chalk

Annual competition attracts more than 100

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read