Theater review: mayhem, mystery and even murder when The Game's Afoot

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Game’s Afoot
By Ken Ludwig
Directed by Ted Jaquith
Edmonds Driftwood Players
June 9 – 25, 2017

Review by Doug Gochanour

Put on your deerstalker, or your favorite sleuthing outfit and join the hilarity.

The Edmonds Driftwood Players goes all out to bring you into the scene of the crime. They conjure up suspense mixed with laughter. You will need to use your funny bone to solve this intricate mystery.

A bit of the background story may help you get oriented. First, you may like to know that this play is based upon a real person, who lived back in the 1936 time frame.

William Gillette was a real Broadway actor, known worldwide for his performances in the role of Sherlock Holmes. Gillette had obtained permission from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write, direct and star in his own original Broadway play, Sherlock Holmes.

Gillette’s wealth grew throughout his play’s 20-year successful run. His fortune allowed him to build a large castle style home in Connecticut. Writer Ken Ludwig took the historical William Gillette, and created a hysterical version of a fictitious Gillette for this play, The Game’s Afoot.

Brian Lechner’s set design is very attractive and practical as it shows the castle’s character.

The home displays features which one might expect to find in a murder mystery – like a secret door, weapons readily available for mischief, and even many passageways to confuse potential visitors.

The fictional William Gillette (Jon Woods) decides to throw a party at his Connecticut Castle home, inviting his whodunit fellow actors to join him there for a weekend of Christmas Holiday revelry. That makes it a Holmes for Holidays event.

Gillette’s guests arrive with their personal life complications and relationships baggage. They have many dark secrets, which they may be willing to kill to conceal.

The special guest is Daria Chase (Caitlin Gillman), who is a nasty writer with all the dirt on everyone there.

Daria convinces the guests to participate in a séance, seeking answers from beyond this life, about another recent murder.

When the table starts to move unexpectedly, the situation gets out of hand in a hurry.

Even Gillette”s Mother (Laura Crouch) decides that Daria should be dead.

After all, Daria insulted and threatened her son. Will Laura Gillette find a way to kill Daria?

This all leads to “ahem,” mayhem, mystery and even murder.

Eventually, following many farcical episodes, Gillette assumes the persona of Sherlock Holmes, matching wits with Inspector Goring (Gretchen Douma). There are many twists and surprises to challenge their collective powers of deduction. The outcome will reveal yet another unexpected plot twist.

Come prepared to laugh as you unwind the mystery of the murder in the castle.

Edmonds Driftwood Players at the Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St, Edmonds 98020, 425-774-9600


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