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L.A. Beat

Get some Hay Fever at the university this week

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The University of Lethbridge has  a bit of Hay Fever this week.Courtney  Montgomery touches up Jocelyn Haub’s make-up. Photo By Richard Amery
 Several students are performing in the 1928 Noel Coward comedy in the University Theatre (W500) , Oct. 20-24.
“It’s a pretty standard story. There is a family  who have a  house in the country and each family member invites guests to come to visit  unbeknownst to the others,” explained  director Gail Hanrahan.
“The family are all eccentric. The mother is a well known actress and the father is a well known writer and the son is an artist, so they are all  very artistic. So the humour is very situational,” she continued adding the characters have fun creating unusual situations for their guests.
“It takes place in a time before television so people had to entertain themselves, so they have fun creating situations for their guests  to find themselves  stunned by and hilarity ensues,” she said.
“ The nine characters are all really different so there is something in it for everyone,” said Hanrahan, who is also  directing a production of Hair in the spring. The University of Lethbridge drama professors rotate through directing the productions, so she directs about one a year. She was a professional director  for 20 years before coming to Lethbridge four years ago.
“Noel Coward is well known for his comedies and this is no exception. It’s not  a play I chose. It was written in 1928 and it takes place in 1928 so it’s an old play but to these students it’s ancient. It was a challenge for them and me,” she continued adding  though the play is British, she changed the location from Britain to New York. The mother, played by Jocelyn Haub  who was in New West Theatre’s productions of “Celebration” and Soundtrack” this summer. is a Broadway singer. Hanrahan added it has been a lot of fun working with the nine cast members who also include Alan Edward Johnson, Emma Sinclair, Terry Ecklund, Lawrence Bolokoski, Grayson Ogle, Lauren Steyn, Kelly Malcolm and Devon Brayne.
“It’s a style of delivery  we aren’t used to, so  it was something  that was challenging for the students as well as me. And Noel Coward is a wit so a lot of the humour goes with the delivery,” she said.
 “The highlight is always working with the students and the energy they put into their performances and watching them  really grow as actors,” she enthused.
“These students are  really close to being professional actors. So it’s really going to be a fun  night at the theatre. We’re hoping people will  go to the play and laugh,” she said.
Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for  students and seniors. They can be obtained at the University box office  by calling 403-329-2616. the show begins at 8 p.m. each night.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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