Hatrix Theatre is planning on having a bloody good time for Christmas as they bring Ken Ludwig’s 2012 comedy thriller “The Game’s Afoot: Holmes for The Holidays” to the Nord Bridge Senior‘s Centre, Nov. 30-Dec. 3.
“It’s a murder mystery staged around the life of William Gillette who actually wrote a play about Sherlock Holmes which ran for 20 years,” said director Karolyn Harker.
Gillette invites his friends in the cast to his mansion for Christmas Eve in 1936, where a storm’s a brewing as a poison pen theatre critic named Daria Chase pays them a visit, which leads to complications and hilarity as they hold a seance to find out who attempted to murder Gillette as well as the doorman at the theatre where they were performing.
“They get together for an evening and they face murder,” Harker said.
“Ken Ludwig, who also wrote Lend Me A Tenor, was a fan of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie and plays like “The Mousetrap,” “Witness for the Prosecution” and “Deathtrap,” so there are references to all of those,” she continued. There are also Shakespeare references, a seance, a great 1930s soundtrack and a lot of laughter and hilarious characters. The play opens with a scene between Sherlock Holmes and his arch-nemesis Moriarty.
“Gillette is a character who wrote a play based on Sherlock Holmes, which brought him success greater than his wildest dreams and it’s allowed him to become quite well off, though he did lose his wife 10 years ago, said Kelly Frewin, who plays William Gillette.
“All of his friends are his fellow actors,” he continued.
While Gillette was a real person, Frewin didn’t do a lot of research into the “real” William Gillette.
“I didn’t do a lot of research, I wanted my character to be informed by the script and the other actors. So I didn’t want to go into it with a lot of pre-conceived ideas about him,” he said.
“He is confident to the point of arrogance, but he’s not an arrogant character,” he described.
Frewin is glad to be back on stage with Hatrix Theatre. He has had a busy Fall on stage, being part of Jesus Christ Superstar, but is excited to be back for his third Hatrix production.
“I was in the Gazebo as the Inspector and in Jitters as the leading man, Phillip. I’m just glad to be back on stage, other than in Jesus Christ Superstar. It’s been four years, so it’s just nice to be back on stage again,” he said.
He hopes the audience will leave the play laughing.
“There are a lot of laughs. So I want them to laugh as well as think. There are lots of laughs, so I hope they have a good time,” Frewin said adding he is enjoying working with the cast.