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Hatrix goes Holmes for the Holidays with murder mystery -comedy The Game’s Afoot

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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.Kelly Frewin and Vittorio Oliverio rehearse The Game’s Afoot , which runs Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Nord Bridge Senior’s Centre. Photo by Richard Amery
“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.

“ It’s like a group of friends coming together,” he said.
“ I hope people will laugh,” Harker echoed.


Madge (Kaitlin Goodliffe) and Felix (Vittorio Oliverio) ham it up in The Game’s Afoot which runs Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Nord Bridge Senior’s Centre. Photo by Richard Amery
“ And I like Ken Ludwig. He writes good comedy and great characters in the theatre with lots of back stage shenanigans. We have a great cast and crew,” she said, adding the Nord Bridge Senior’s centre have been great to work with.

The production features a mix of new faces and Hatrix Theatre, Shakespeare In the Park, Playgoers of Lethbridge veterans and the University of Lethbridge.
Emilie Kidd, who was last on stage with Playgoers of Lethbridge in Boeing Boeing in the spring, is excited to explore the many facets of Aggie,  an actress and young widow whose husband Hugo passed away while skiing.
“I enjoy theatre but didn’t have a lot of it growing up because I  grew up in a small town,” Kidd said.
“I missed it and I enjoyed and  I loved being in ‘Boeing, Boeing,’” she said.
“I wanted to try acting from a different perspective. This show is is quirky and witty and has been a different experience,” she said.
“Aggie comes across as sweet and self-pitying. She lures in people with her sweetness or tries to. She’s hard to pinpoint,” Kidd continued adding she is enjoying working with the cast most of all.
“We all get along so well. We have chemistry. We‘re a team,” Kidd said.

“ I hope people will come to the show and see live theatre as an avenue for live entertainment,” she said.

Carrie-Ann Worden plays Daria in The Game’s Afoot which runs Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Nord Bridge Senior’s Centre. Photo by Richard Amery
The cast features Kirk Boehmer as Simon, Kelly Frewin as Gillette, Emily Frewin, who just finished  performing in Playgoers of Lethbridge’s dinner theatre of “Always a Bridesmaid,” as Inspector Goering, Kaitlin Goodliffe , who was in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Romeo and Juliet this summer, as Madge, Emilie Kidd as Aggie, Vittorio Oliverio as Felix, Hatrix Theatre and Playgoers of Lethbridge veterans Marcie Stork as Martha and Carrie-Ann Worden as Daria, who has performed in Hatrix Theatre’s productions of the “Evil Dead” and the “Foreigner.”
Tickets are $15 advance, $20 at the door. The show runs at 7:30 p.m. each night. There is also a  2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. They are available at Blueprint Entertainment and going on sale the week after Thanksgiving. Nord-Bridge members will receive a five dollar discount if they show their membership card at the time of purchase.

 A version of this story appears in the Nov. 23, 2016 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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