Past Performances

Our past shows include two farces, two murder mysteries, a comedy that’s not a farce (apparently there is a difference) and a radio show about Shackleton’s expedition in the Antarctic. All shows are Canadian with five by  Calgary authors.

Michael Armstrong and Jenn MacLean shock the Bishop – Jeremy MacKenzie

Our first show – For a Mature Audience Only – was set in run down vicarage in the UK. A porn producer pressured by the mob to get a film done within 24 hours rents a church hall as a last resort. The vicar, pleased to get enough money to fix the leaky roof believes that he’s received manna from heaven. Lots of double entendres, mistaken identities, cross dressing, inconvenient entrances and other classic farce elements were out in full force.

Kevin Chinook and Kathleen Fraser discuss high finances

Larry Hoffman is stopped in his tracks by Jamie Cunnington

Investment in Murder was set at the isolated desert mansion of a high flying fund manager. The fund hasn’t been doing well of late (or so it seems) and the investment manager dies in the middle of a broadcast to his investors. Did he really die? If he did – then where did the body go. Plot twists and a cast of seemingly benign innocent characters make solving this one difficult.

Broadcasters Kevin Chinook and Sue-Anne Fu-Joncic

Jamie Cunnington – the lawyer is lectured to by his mom – Zena Drabinsky

Office Hours, a comedy by Norm Foster – a well known Canadian Playwright – happens over the course of an afternoon in 6 different settings, but with a common thread to all.

Jamie Cunnington does away with Fred Krysko

Anne Hodgson and Michael Armstrong as the investigating detectives.

Magician Manuel Ramirez entertains two young audience members with his sleight of hand.

Deadly Illusions  is a murder mystery that takes place in the midst of the classic disappearing cabinet trick. The cabinets really worked, and no, there are no trapdoors in the Pumphouse.  Members of Calgary’s Magician community were on hand to entertain theatre goers in the lobby prior to the show.  Watch for many of these magicians again in our Magic Show April 14-15 at the Pumphouse.

Our most recent show, Shackleton, was about Ernest Shackleton and his crew being marooned in the Antarctic for two years.  It’s an amazing story – better yet, it’s all true.  With an engaging script and live on-stage sound effects this was a must see!

Some comments from our audience members about Shackleton:

We’ve been to the Antarctic five times.  The sound of the crumbling cracking ice was just like being back on board our icebreaker – how did you know?  The penguin calls were spot on. Everything was great; the story and the sound transported us back to a place we love.  A.C. Calgary.

As I had not heard of Ernest Shackleton, I found the play educational and amazingly inspiring. The Foley artists were highly impressive. – A.W. Lethbridge.

We enjoyed Shackleton, the radio play, very very much. The actors were fully engrossed in their roles. We could feel the hardship that they must have had to go through, just by listening. The Foley sounds were very convincing. – C.B. & J.B. Calgary

An original idea, executed wonderfully and told in immense detail. It is amazing to see the Foley and the story come together on stage. – S.M.K. Calgary

Better than a regular play or movie.  I just closed my eyes and let my own mind set the scenes for me.  The Foley sounds combined with the actors voices made for a very rich experience. A.G. Calgary

It sounded fantastic. The play was excellent. My only regret is that I didn’t listen with my eyes closed at times.  K.F. Calgary

The sound effects were very effective! J.B. Calgary

The story was compelling by itself.  With the sound effects added, it was beyond compelling. L.H. Calgary

John Hickie with the Foley creak box used to simulate the creaks and groans of an old sailing ship and the sounds of ice under tension.  Never used anywhere else before, this Foley rig was developed by John specifically for this show.

David McArdle, Tony Matthews and Eddie Morrissey perform as Shackleton, Frank Worsley and

Tom Crean.

Smashing cabbages for a sound effect during the play.

Two stalks of celery combined with a paint stirring sticks was used to simulate the sound of ice cracking.  The sound of the celery and sticks together was totally different than celery by itself or the stick by itself.

Peter Warne and Kevin Chinook as Leonard Hussey and Frank Hurley narrated the story during the first act.  Fredy Rivas is in the background simulating the grinding sound of the ice floes.  We used a hydrophone submerged in our water tank to make the ice and water sound effects richer.

John Hickie simulating the sound of an Adelie penguin.  Fredy Rivas and John practiced while listening to recordings of real penguins.

The cast and Foley artists onstage.

John Hickie with our Foley door.  The Foley door and the wind machine are standard theatrical sound devices used all over the world.

Happy Death Day featured one of the best ensemble casts we’ve seen in years. Unlike most murder mysteries, we know who is killed and how they are killed. The rest of the play flashes back to earlier on the day of the murder. We just have to figure out who the murderer is and what their motive is.

Dysfunctional Family Photo

Gino Savoia & Lisette Allan
Jon Martin, Ivy Padmos & Jen Leclaire

Author Louis Hobson with the cast.

After the somewhat grim Happy Death Day, The French Kiss Off was a light hearted farce. If you saw the play you might remember some of the light hearted farts! Kieran Crudupp played by Mark Fraser is a hard working playwright working on his umpteenth play. You name it, he does it – murder mysteries, comedies, dramas. Audiences love his plays – well maybe they would if Kieran could get someone to publish them, or even just one. Resorting to identity theft, blackmail and mistaken identities galore Kieran does his best to get his plays published. His best friend and roommate, Rick Gerrard, is in advertising. Trouble is the only products he has from his clientele are silly, bizarre, and downright pornographic – not the kinds of things that spring off the shelves. The rest of the cast included a philandering dad who got his knickers in a twist – literally, two sexy moms, a long suffering girl friend, and some real playwrights and publishers thrown in for good measure.

One of Rick’s improbable products was the GAS GRABBER underpants complete with with activated charcoal inserts to absorb even the most light hearted farts.
Simon Larter (as Rick Gerrard) promotes the GAS GRABBER underpants.

Our talented cast. For the second show in a row we had a wonderful ensemble cast. Left to right front – Yvonne Friedrich, Greg Spielman, Simon Larter, Jen Leclaire, and Bill McCarthy (kind of in between front and back rows). In the back row is Murray Melnychuk, Lisette Allan, Mark Fraser, Ross Hart and Bill McCarthy again.

Mark Fraser (as Kieran Cruddup) outlining his plan to present himself as not one but two famous authors in an effort to sell his plays. His roommate, Rick Gerrard is being dragged into the plot
As good as the casts were for Happy Death Day and The French Kiss Off were, this ensemble was exceptional. The close friendships among the cast back stage transferred so very well on the stage. Although advertised as a comedy, there were poignant soul searching moments too. Featuring this fantastic ensemble cast, we hope to present Looking again in the spring in a very different setting – a real pub. Look for us at the Dog & Duck in March or April. You never know who you’ll meet there – especially if you are single.
Our fantastic cast – Simon Larter, Rick Yoder, Amanda Rae Cross and Colleen Bishop
Rick and Amanda Rae playing their parts
Simon and Colleen getting ready for our next show – taken at the Dog & Duck Pub