Bard to Broadway Theatre Society’s first show of the summer season is a comedy, murder-mystery spoof; a play so funny that director Gary Brown and his cast have been cracking up consistently during rehearsals.
“We have been in hysterics,” he said. “Honestly, it’s been very funny.”
The play, called Murdered to Death, combines the hilarity of Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies with the mystery of the Agatha Christie traditions.
Brown, who is a co-founder of Bard to Broadway, said when he first read the play by Peter Gordon, he knew it was a winner.
“If I can read a comedy and laugh out loud when I’m reading it, I know it’s a good one,” he said.
Brown is originally from Saskatoon and has been acting since high school. He has been active in theatre in Edmonton and Calgary in the past, the latter where he took schooling to become a commercial photographer.
After moving to the Island in 1978, Brown took some time off from theatre, claiming “the real world set in” and he had to go out and earn a living.
About 15 years ago Echo Players asked if Brown would direct On Golden Pond and so began his fated return to theatre.
Twelve years ago, after doing a couple very successful musicals, he and a friend thought why not continue into the summer and benefit both local actors and tourists?
At first they weren’t sure how they would go from this grand idea to a functioning theatre society, especially since they had no theatre and no money.
But once they were able to secure some tents for an outdoor venue, everything else fell into place, he said.
“From that point on everybody said ‘yes’ for everything we ever asked,” he said. “Everyone was willing to help out.”
For all of his hard work and time dedicated, Brown was among 45 B.C. residents who received a prestigious B.C. Community Achievement Award last year, which recognizes the spirit, imagination, dedication and contribution British Columbians make to their communities.
Brown said today he enjoys both acting directing, acting because he loves being on stage and creating characters, and directing because he’s able to portray an entire vision he has of a production.
Murdered to Death is an intelligent comedy, Brown explained, and people will really appreciate the physical humour in it.
Brown said he was blessed with an incredible cast for this production, even the relatively new actors blossomed immediately, he said.
“I’ll burst out laughing and they know they’ve done well if I laugh,” he said.
Brown said people will also enjoy the play because it’s a murder mystery.
“Even if it’s a satire you still have to figure out who did it and how many, and that’s always fun,” he said.
Murdered to Death starts July 4 at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach and runs until August 6.
For more information visit www.b2btheatre.com or call 250-752-4470.