SUSPECT—A GAME OF MURDER
Laughing Planet Co-op
Jericho Arts Centre
604-224-8007 ext. 3
Okay, I surrender. I sat there at first thinking, “How long is this going to take to get set up? When does the fun start?” It took maybe 15 minutes before I started laughing, and shaking my head in awe at the cleverness and quickness and wit of some of these improv actors. And though there are a few dead spots, and some of the improvisers are noticeably better than others, Suspect is a generally delightful evening in the theatre.
The script by 1980s TheatreSporters Lori Dungey, Ian Forsyth, Richard Side and Ken Roberts has a loose murder mystery structure. Interlocutor and pianist Mark Wilson explains the scenario to the audience, solicits suggestions (characters’ professions, relationships, quirks, etc.), and underlines and punctuates moments with the piano, aided by the maid Suzette (Leanne Koehn).
Gathered in the home of wacky novelty inventor T. Frognall Dibdin—a perfectly manic Brian Anderson, equally witty in act 2 as the detective who solves the crime—are his Butler Cadbury (the clever Russ Brummer), his psychic friend the Baroness La Fromage (the gorgeous Dianna David), Eunice and Aldous Bacon (pronounced Ba-con), and the unequivocal star of the evening, young Biff McCall.
Kerry Blouin as Biff is remarkably clever and deliriously funny. The evening I saw the show, his profession was lion tamer, he had saved life Dibdin’s life in Istanbul while cultivating hashish, he had a secret sexual relationship with Aldous, and suffered from a terrible nervous itch. Blouin parlayed all these qualities into a full-blown CHARACTER, and the crowd loved him.
Ultimately, all the actors got to strut their stuff under David C. Jones’ direction, and a pretty good time was had by all. It’s a great date show. Treat your mother for Mother’s Day.