Virden Collegiate brought A Family Reunion to Die For to life on the Aud Theatre stage Tuesday evening, June 7. The cast of 17 under the direction of Kim Barkley pulled off a slapstick whodunnit complete with audience participation.
The action took place in a Western themed hotel on an isolated tropical island where a tropical storm adds tension to the stained relationships developing among the guests at the Family Reunion.
It’s a comedy based on just a few murders.
And of course, the first to die is hotel proprietor Aunt Gretchen Wilcox (Kennedy Langevin), a grouch to her staff and sweet as pie to the guests, most of whom are family members. These guests include honeymooners Freddie and Christine Franklin (Dylan Southam and Sara Podobni) who star in leading roles. But everyone is important in this drama.
The actors used script booklets on stage, which was forgivable, as they got right into their zany roles.
One of the strange conventions of this drama included murdered members returning to the stage from cold storage in the hotel’s freezer.
Aunt Gretchen is the first cool character to come back to the stage to address the audience whilst other onstage action freezes. She also helps the hapless newly married Freddie. He’s living out his dream of becoming a detective. He’s on the case, searching for clues to the murders with his new wife Christine egging him on mercilessly.
It’s only in the closing moments of the play that the Costumed Guest, Raphial Fehr, has his finest moment whilst wearing a pink tootoo and facing down the criminal Mime Molly, Darien Dunning. He with a fake gun, she with the real thing. She’s under arrest!