PETER COLLEY Playwright-Screenwriter
FROM THE NIAGARA DOWNTOWNER MAGAZINE
When this Reaper calls, answer the knock!
by Sharon DeMarko Gordon
Worry not about the undertaker, just be there When the Reaper Calls at Showboat Festival Theatre through July 28, 2002.
Wittily written by Peter Colley, tautly directed by Allison Grant, this intelligent comedy keeps you laughing at yourself as well as the characters expertly portrayed by Amy Walsh, Clyde Whitham, Marcia Tratt, Shawn Devlin and Rey Baecher.
Comparisons between playwrights never is fair, but, in rare instances, unavoidable and, in this case, complimentary. Colley’s wry humour and controlled antics call to mind Noel Coward, that tireless observer of human foible. The women from Coward’s Blithe Spirit, well done at The Showboat last season, would rollick in the aisles over Reaper in this theatre.
Set in a rustic hunting Lodge on a backwoods inlet in British Columbia, two couples and a constable come to grips with murder. Or is it?
The couples are two philosophy professors, one visceral hunk who would rather eat a fish than consider its soul; the other so attuned to nature that Buddha would bow; and their wives, an antiseptic medical student convinced her bon-vivant spouse is perennially unfaithful; the other an herbal-tea-brewing sprite whose passionate nature is unleashed by getting her hands on a gun.
The plot is simple, as opposed to simplistic, and thought-provoking outside academia: can a stoical pacifist be provoked to violence? If so, what consequences are reaped by the provocateur?
You’ll find out in this delicious piece, expertly stage managed by Jennifer Harper with character-identifying costume design by Michelle Vanderheyden and imaginative set and light design by Karen Crichton.
This Reaper isn’t grim.
When the Reaper Calls, through July 28, 2002 at Showboat Festival Theatre, Port Colborne, 296 Fielden Ave. Box office: 1-905-834-0833. 1-888-870-8181. Website: www.roselawn.ca