The father Bradley (played by Rob Atkinson)

Play in Qualicum Beach opens next week

The director said the whole idea of The Cocktail Hour is that John is a playwright and wants to produce a play about the family

The ECHO Players latest production is relatable to families, says two of the leads.

The first show for the ECHO Players’s 2016/17 season is The Cocktail Hour written by A.R. Gurney and directed by Jeanne Atkinson.

Set in the mid-1970s, an aspiring playwright, John, comes home to upper New York state to visit his family.

Atkinson said the whole idea of The Cocktail Hour is that John is a playwright and wants to produce a play about the family.

“Of course, they don’t like that idea because John has been unkind at other times in his writing and dealing with the family. There’s a bit of a kerfuffle,” Atkinson said.

John’s parents Anne and Bradley and his sister Nina have a very different view of themselves, and a lively discussion ensues during the family’s customary cocktail hour.

The main conflict is between the father and son, played by Rob Atkinson and Mell Frost respectively.

Rob said it’s a father-son relationship that has been strained over the years.

“Some of this stuff is coming to a head during the cocktail hour,” Rob said. “We get mad, we scream and shout, and then we bring it back down and work the problem out and finish up as a single family unity again.”

Rob said that has been an interesting ride for him.

Aviva Fox, who plays the mother Ann, said there’s an underlying love and a wish to be part of the family.

“I think that in the end carries the day because there are a lot of harsh words spoken throughout the course of the cocktail hour that they manage to find a resolution that isn’t phoney or forced, but which is a compromise,” Fox said of the play.

Fox said that makes the play and its dialogue very realistic.

“He (A.R. Gurney) seems to capture the nuance of language and the way people speak to each other,” Fox said. “I think the result of that is something that’s a little more natural and less stilted than a lot of the conversation that happens in plays.”

Many of Gurney’s plays focused on the upper-class in contemporary America. The Cocktail Hour is a comedy of manners which satirizes the manners and behaviours of a social class.

Rob said people will identify with the realness of the play.

“That same conversation could easily be happening in any house or several houses up and down the street from here,” he said.

Because of that, Fox said you wouldn’t call The Cocktail Hour a play of action.

“Only lifting the glass,” Fox said. “That’s about as much action as we see.”

The Cocktail Hour opens Oct. 13 and runs at The Village Theatre (110 Second Ave., Qualicum Beach) until Oct. 30. Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.

Tickets for The Cocktail Hour are now on sale at the Village Theatre. The box office is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sundays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and performance nights from 6 to 7:30 p.m. or call 250-752-3522.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 years and older), $11 for students (with a valid student card) and $16 per person for groups of 10 or more.

Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Ballenas Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Nanoose Bay Catspan receives BC SPCA funding

Spay/neuter grant to address overpopulation

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

VIDEO: Meet some of the Vancouver Island Tribute Festival performers

The NEWS speaks with Elvis, Liberace tribute artists and others before they go on parade

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

RCMP investigating after gunshots fired in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in Courtenay… Continue reading

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The dispatcher literally taught me CPR over the phone’

Most Read