United Players’ Hay Fever Opens on Friday

Community Theatre has always been one of my major hobbies. I am drawn to trying on the cloak of different characters – the wife who can’t get her head around a suitcase full of money her husband has “found”; the maid whose sister is returning from America as the fiancee of my employer’s son; the spinster who gets a proposal; the mother of the attractive debutante.

This fall, in Noel Coward‘s Hay Fever, I have the delightful role of “Clara,” Mrs. Bliss’s cockney dresser who learned her lack of manners within the sound of Bow Bells.

“Clara’s” version of finger waves. Photo credit: Jordon Navratil

Here’s the publicity info, scattered with my pictures from the rehearsal process:

United Players proudly presents

Hay Fever

by Noël Coward

directed by William B. Davis

Who knew rehearsing a comedy could be so serious?

September 2-25 at Jericho Arts Centre

Oh, the wit of Noël Coward! There’s no one like him! There is no playwright who captures the sophisticated elegance and archness of the era between the two world wars like him, and Hay Fever is the epitome of the Coward style. Inspired by a weekend Coward spent at the house of the actor Laurette Taylor, Hay Feveris a delicious comedy of (bad) manners about a family whose theatrical excesses torment a group of unsuspecting visitors.

William B. Davis and Andree Karas look at Judith Bliss’s (Chris McBeath) 3rd Act costume

In the conflict between Bohemian eccentricity and bourgeois repressive conventionality, Coward creates perhaps his greatest comedy, one that never fails to delight and entertain.

Want to know more? Check out the Spotlight on Hay Fever.

William B. Davis and David Kovac “look” at sounds.

Hay Fever is directed by William B. Davis (Waste) with Stevie Jackson (Asst. Director). Sean Malmas (Set Design), Kate Carr (Costume Design), Mandi Lau (Lighting Design), David Kovac (sound design), Laura Polnik (properties), Kyla Gardiner (Technical Director), Tanya Hill (Stage Manager), and Meaghan Doupe (Asst. Stage Manager).

Members of the crew discuss backstage tasks. Stevie Jackson is assistant director.

It stars Chris McBeath as “Judith,” with Meaghan Chenosky, Christopher Cook, Rebecca Husain, Jordon Navratil, Melissa Oei, Jack Rigg, Thomas Saunders, and Nina Shoroplova.

Jordon Navratil (“Simon Bliss”) and Meaghan Chenosky (“Sorell Bliss”) enjoy a friendly sibling moment before spatting once more.

United Players’ Hay Fever runs at the Jericho Arts Centre (1675 Discovery) from Sept 2-25, Thursdays through Sundays, at 8 pm. Tickets are $16 – $20 and are available at the door.

“David” (Jack Rigg) and “Myra” (Melissa Oei) enjoy an encounter in Act Two

Preview: Sept 1st, all tickets $10.

There will be a talk-back session after the show on September 8th.

Reservations and information, phone 604 224 8007, extension 2 or visit United Players. Follow United Players on Twitter and Facebook.

Rehearsals were in the Phoenix Room at Jericho Community Centre. Left to right: Jordon as “Simon,” Thomas Saunders as “Richard,” Chris as “Judith,” Meaghan as “Sorell,” and William B. Davis, peering around the pillar!

Come check us out!

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