‘An Unspeakable Triumph of Supreme Brilliance’ is a funny and zany comedy by Texas based playwright, Don Zolidis.
Four years ago, this play was presented as the ‘Senior Production’ at the New Norcia, Holy Cross College in Ellenbrook by some of the backstage crew seen here. The cast however are completely new. This production is the full, unexpurgated version as passages referring to the church were omitted at the college.
This 105-minute comedy is being presented by the Darlington Theatre Players Inc. at the Marloo Theatre, 20 Marloo Road, Greenmount. The two and a half hour performances are every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 7.30 until Saturday 15th May.
The Scene: Minnesota. The Moss River Community Theatre Company’s tatty rehearsal hall. Present day.
The Set: The room is decorated a loud peach colour. On the rear wall is a small sash window. On one side is a faulty white door to the toilets. On the other side are patio doors leading out to the snowy hills. Centre stage is a wooden table with several chairs around. A filing cabinet is in the corner. On the stage apron is a two-seater settee and a full costume rack. On the other apron are a couple of rows of theatre seats.
Set designer: Ray Egan designed the set with a couple of surprise scene changes. Ray was assisted in the construction by Aaron Lucas and Luke Miller, with a backup team of two dozen helpers. The set finish may look terrible, but the Moss River ARE terrible. The scenic artist was Molly Gilchrist.
The lighting designer was Bailey Fellows, and in charge of technical operations were Chelsea Cook and Tim Zuiddam.
Stage manager: Guy Jackson has as his assistant Rebecca McRae, and stage crew Luke van der Beeke, Sarah Zuiddam and Chris McRae, many of whom also appeared in the production as the Moss River’s play crew in charge of their crumbling show.
The Props: were by the reliable team of Lesley Sutton and assistant Claudia Soler.
The play opens as the Moss River Community Players, who are renowned for theatrical mediocrity, are discussing their next production. The flamboyant and self-assured director, Samson (Steven Hounsome) is bursting with enthusiasm and huge ideas, but he detests the wretched non-actors, especially when talking to his nervous and petite stage manager, Loren (Ellie Jones).
At the central table is seated their uninspired and untalented playwright, Dave (Ryan Perrin). With him is perky and ever optimistic, Bob (Michael Moshos). Filled with wild ideas, Bob enjoys being around the playwright, but is petrified having to act – due to his heart problem.
Samson is showing a visitor around their setup, she is an inquisitive newspaper reporter, Letitia (Charlotte Italiano) who watches as the pathetic rehearsal begins. Bob must carry his new bride, the local English teacher, Audrey (Audrey Poor) through a room door. Soon, Bob is staggering and wheezing badly. Once on the stage, the egotistical real estate agent, Delilah (Taneal Thompson) sweeps in, determined to appear in and conquer every scene. Across the stage, the considerate and starstruck Tilly (Chantelle Pitt) is sidling up to Dave, her latest love interest.
Letitia the reporter then reveals that in her youth, she was an inconsequential member of this very same mediocre troupe, but now, she is the wife of the third richest man in the world. She offers a ten-million-dollar prize for the best community theatre show presented in the area, and here is the catch, there are only two days left to write, cast and produce their competition entry ‘An Unspeakable Triumph of Supreme Brilliance’. Audrey has ambitions of performing a classic, but instead Dave is commissioned to write a gory horror play.
Their only competition for this massive cash prize is The Red Barn Theatre team, led by their supercilious, gloating but talented artistic director, goosestepping Sven Gustafson (Bailey O’Herir). He mocks them mercilessly – and sadly, they know he is right.
Who will win the money, and become acknowledged as the area’s best company of actors?
Directed by Chris McRae who has obviously spelt out the richly written characters to his troupe. The performers totally understood their personalities. Farcical comedy is a difficult genre to present, as it only takes one member of the cast to ruin the effect, but this company worked magnificently together, with not a weak link in sight.
Accent coach Marni Klein had the whole cast talking with a mild Minnesotan accent, no drawl, a miracle – congratulations. The actors were well rehearsed, each presenting confident performances with clear enunciation. Their lines flowed and their interaction was superb. Not a weak performance in sight.
Costumière, Marjorie DeCaux was ably assisted by Lynda Stubbs; further help came from Dan Collar in Minnesota and JC Custom garment printers.
The First Act pandemonium was well paced and fully under control, however, the mayhem a little too long. With Bailey’s fine but assured monologue and Michael’s quirky humour bringing welcome relief.
Superb direction and great grasp of the genre. Well done production manager Shelly Miller and Locklen Falkingham.
A triumph for all. Plenty of laughs and a great finishing scene.