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By Constance Scrafield
Not at all related to the movie of the same name, Fatal Attraction, written by Canadian playwright Bernard Slade, takes a hiatus from his usual comedic writing to offer a sinister story of murder and deception, with all the delicious twists and false leads mystery fans adore.
The play at Hillsburgh's Century Church Theatre opens March 16 and runs until March 25 on the weekends.
“While at her beach house sorting out her divorce, movie star Blair Griffin spots a paparazzo who has been stalking her. She takes a bold step to shake him loose, setting in motion a series of shocking and terrifying events. The unconventional Lieutenant Braden delves into sinister motivations to unravel the plots within plots in this thrill-a-minute action mystery,” says a synopsis on HCC's website.
“Blair has many layers. She is a very manipulative character.” said Nick Forrow, directing the play, of the leading lady. “None of the characters are what they seem.”
To give a very brief synopsis, the play takes place in the beach house on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, belonging to Blair Griffin. She is in the throws of a divorce from her husband Morgan, an artist, who has come to the cottage to pick up his paintings.
Morgan is about to marry another woman and they have custody of Blair's and his children. Tension rises between the two in the ensuing arguments, when Blair suddenly sees Tony Lombardi, a reporter obsessed with her, looking through the window at them.
Tension increases as the audience wonders and then begins to understand why Tony has come, and the troubles begin. Additional to these three characters are the cynical police woman, Blair's Hollywood agent, and the detective.
The intricacies of the play appeal very much to Mr. Forrow: “There are lots of challenges,” he told us, as a man who likes challenges. “This is a play with adult issues and is not suitable for children under 14, maybe even 16,” was his comment. “Once I saw this play and I fell in love with it.”
Another of the challenges has been the set which, in a perfect world, is rather complicated. However, theatre magic being what it is, the whole matter of the set is being resolved.
“The play is a challenge from start to finish,” Mr. Forrow was happy to say. “I've enjoyed so much to watch how the actors have grown into their roles.”
The passion for community theatre is wonderful. Mr. Forrow lives in Clarkson, at the south end of Mississauga. He is happy to come up the Hillsburgh for rehearsals, as are the others making their ways from Meadowvale, Guelph and Orangeville. The stage manager lives in Waldemar.
Still, according to the director, “We only lost one day to snow. I like the drive, it gives me time to consider what there is to do on the way there and reflect on the way home. Once the play is on, I get so [excited] that when I get home, I can't just go to bed right away.”
Community theatre is a big part of Mr. Forrow's life and for a long time. He has been involved with Clarkson Music Theatre, which was established 75 years ago.
His initial contact with Century Church Theatre came as he and wife habitually – “for years” – drove through Hillsburgh on their way to Tobermory and, one time, he noticed a “poster with a name I recognized.” later on, he went to an audition for one of the upcoming plays and got the part.
Once again, the idea, the philosophy of those in community theatre, that distance is no problem and mixing staff and cast amongst the theatres, bringing people in from others areas and, as actors, director and back stage crew, travelling to other theatres, is all good. It means the audiences will see fresh faces and the actors will learn how other theatres make it happen.
Fatal Attraction opens on March 16 and runs over the weekends until the matinee on March 25. For tickets and details, call the box office at 519-855-4586.
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