Jennifer Cleough is the director of ‘Deathtrap’, which is playing at Duncan’s Mercury Theatre. Recent thefts are keeping the production company on its toes. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Duncan play faces challenges even before first performance as thieves strike

Thefts hamper Deathtrap days before opening at Mercury Theatre

The stage play Deathtrap that is scheduled to begin a series of shows on Oct. 18 at the Mercury Theatre in Duncan is already facing hurdles.

Jennifer Cleough, the director of the production, said when the play’s organizers went to the Mercury Theatre, located on Brae Road in Duncan, on Oct. 12 to start organizing the facility for the production, they found there was no water.

Closer inspection revealed that the water main to the theatre had been shut off, the set room had been broken into where the water pipes had been clamped, and much of the copper piping had been removed.

Cleough said the Steelworkers Union, which owns the Mercury Theatre, was contacted and has assured the group that the water problem will be fixed in time for the first show on Oct. 18.

She said a stylish samurai sword, that was to be part of a set in Deathtrap, which had been rented from a business in Duncan was also at the theatre, but she decided to take it home for safekeeping until the play after the theft of the piping.

But when she awoke at her home on the morning of Oct. 14, Cleough said her house had been broken into and several items, including the sword, a guitar and other valuables, were missing.

She said some items were eventually recovered, but there is still no sign of the bright red, ornate sword.

To add insult to injury, Cleough said a keyboard that was extensively used by one of her assistants with the Mercury Players was also recently stolen.

She said the keyboard, which had been used by the Chalkboard Theatre at Duncan United Church for six years, was used for children’s productions before it recently disappeared from the church.

“Someone saw the keyboard for sale on the Internet, and its serial numbers match up, so we’re hopeful that it will soon be returned,” Cleough said.

“It has been a tough few days for us.”

RCMP Cpl. Tammy Douglas said all the stolen items from Cleough’s house were located at a nearby home, but the sword is still missing.

She said the police have no information at this time regarding the theft of the copper piping.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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