PETER COLLEY Playwright-Screenwriter
(This poster is free for any theatre group to use when producing the play. For a 300dpi printable version, click here)
2 Males, 3 Females, 1 Set
Published by Samuel French Ltd., London, England
(NOTE: The Samuel French (London) version is not available in the USA or Canada.
For Canada contact the Playwrights Guild of Canada [address below], for the USA please contact the author.)
Now available in an Italian translation "Quando La Morte Chiama" by Pino Tierno.
THEATRE COMPANIES: FOR A FREE PERUSAL COPY OF THIS PLAY EMAIL THE AUTHOR AT:
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THE STORY: Victor and Harlan are two young philosophy professors who have been friends, rivals and pranksters since their college days. But now Harlan has become a Stoic who has adopted a strict unemotional regimen in preparation for the afterlife, while Victor has turned into a wild hedonist who believes that “when you’re dead, you’re dead” and intends to squeeze every drop of pleasure from each fleeting moment. While they are vacationing with their long-suffering wives at a remote cottage on the coast of British Columbia, Victor sets up a trick to prove to Harlan the falseness of his philosophy, but the trick goes murderously wrong and all their lives are changed forever...
PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTION HISTORY:
WHEN THE REAPER CALLS has been produced in 9 countries. It premiered at the Gryphon Theatre in Ontario, Canada
(a 700-seat Equity theatre), and was later produced at the Victoria Theatre,
Ontario. In 1998 a revised version premiered at the Upper Canada
Playhouse, and The Abaiq Theatre in Saudi Arabia and theatres from
Alberta to Nova Scotia. In 1999 it was produced at the Blyth Festival (where
the entire run sold out), and the Port Carling Summer Theatre. In
2000 the play was remounted at The Blyth Festival to accommodate the
audience who could not see the sold out run in 1999. In 2001 The
west coast premiere was produced by a co-production at the Western Canada
Theatre Company in Kamloops and the Gateway Theatre in Vancouver,
British Columbia. In 2002 the play was produced at several theatres
including the Showboat Theatre and the Collingwood Summer Theatre
in Ontario. In 2003 the U.S. premiere took place at the Fort Gordon
Entertainment Centre and in 2004 the English Theatre of Hamburg
presented the German premiere - a long-running hit that grossed over
$100,000.00. There have been numerous other productions and in 2006 it
was presented at the Sudbury
Theatre Centre and was published in London by Samuel French Ltd.
Also in 2006 the play won 4 awards at the Western Ontario Drama
League's annual festival in Canada. There
were two productions in New Zealand in 2009 (The Dolphin, Aukland, and
The Whangerie) as well as the Dundee Playhouse and The Abbey Theatre
(2010) in Scotland. The Whangerie production won 4 2010 New Zealand
including "Best Comedy". In 2011 it was presented at The
Lighthouse Theatre, The Meaford Opera House and the City Playhouse
in Canada as well as theatres in several states in the US, including the Chicago
area. In 2012 there have been productions in Rome, Italy (in
Italian), Shanghai, China (in Mandarin at the Shanghai Modern Theater - Xinguang Arts Center), and in Cape Town, South Africa as well
as the UK, US and Canada. There is a new Polish translation in
SHORT PITCH: When The Reaper Calls is a comic thriller about two young academics who are rivals over the question: "is there life after death" and how that affects the way you should lead your life. As they vacation together with their long-suffering wives their rivalry results in infidelity, murder, and lots of laughs.
"This season's mystery comedy, When the Reaper Calls, has been a hit with our audiences! Some are even calling it "the BEST" show they've seen at The Lighthouse Festival Theatre to date! A sensational play." The Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Equity theatre 2011)
"Peter Colley likes to make us laugh, even at death. When the Reaper Calls is a prime example. One minute you’re on the edge of your seat, the next you’re shaking with laughter." Hamilton Spectator 2011
2013 - When The Reaper Calls wins a BRAVO AWARD in Canada.
From the UK from AS Magazine:
2008 from the Columbia Tribune:
"A murder mystery with many twists and turns and some very comedic scenes even in the depths of drama. One is constantly wondering what is coming next, and to say too much about the plot would give the game away and lose the pleasure for all who see the show." Cape Town, South Africa
2012 and 2015 IN SHANGHAI, CHINA (in Mandarin -
translation by Professor Fan Yisong)
Also in 2012 - in Rome. Italy. Italian translation "Quando La Morte Chiama" by Pino Tierno.
|From The Tribune
"Suspense, intrigue and humour; sheer delight"
"When the Reaper Calls it's definitely time to get your tickets to
an evening of devilish hilarity, intellectual philosophizing and
entertaining thrills. Coming out of the theatre into streets
shrouded in mist seemed the inevitable finale to an evening full of
twists, turns, scary pranks, ghosts, murder and mayhem.
THE NIAGARA DOWNTOWNER
"Wittily written by Peter Colley, this intelligent comedy keeps you laughing at yourself as well as the characters. 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. 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, expertly staged, piece."
|From: PULSE NIAGARA
"There are lots of elements that made
Reaper Calls, a truly brilliant play. But what stood out most for
me were the refreshing and surprising plot twists of this play. The
script itself deserves a great deal of the credit for making this comedy
thriller so entertaining. That’s right -- a comedy thriller.
is the play that combines these genres successfully, but When The
Reaper Calls, is indeed equally as gripping as it is
“This is a fabulous show... it thrilled and chilled the audience to the point that they demanded two curtain calls... Peter Colley has woven a deceptively simple plot into a philosophical framework that leaves the audience guessing until the very end... a sheer delight... hilarious... you won't want to miss this one... superb!”'
Saturday Morning Post
“This is a great play... very entertaining... the two killer professors are wonderful... I love the language in this play... please go and see it!”
“REAPER CALLS AUDIENCE TO HILARIOUS HIT! A
WELL-WRITTEN, SPIRITED COMEDY!"
The Winchester Press
“REAPER” A WINNER AT UPPER CANADA PLAYHOUSE! A
A MEMORABLE NIGHT AT THE THEATRE”
UNIQUE BLEND OF CHILLING SUSPENSE AND RIOTOUS HUMOUR”
The Stratford Beacon-Herald
THE REAPER CALLS IS A GEM”
GETS STANDING OVATION”
BOTH SPOOKY AND FUNNY”
“A CASCADE OF SUSPENSE, HUMOUR AND THE
FULL OF TWISTS, LAUGHS AND SCARY MOMENTS”
Canadian Arts & Culture Forum
read this script and loved it . We just finished a three week run
of the show and it turned out to be a great experience for the staff, cast
and audience. Large and enthusiastic houses -- and not one person
claimed to have figured out the ending in advance. That's a first! "
Artistic Director, Fort Gordon Entertainment Centre
"This is a very well written play. It is one of the best plays I have ever come across and has some brilliant characters."
Director, Moira Tunstall (Great Britain)
"A great play which sold out in our theatre."
River City Theatre, Missouri 2008
offers surprises, laughs, truth"
Blackwell, Southeast Missourian
"I studied philosophy at University so the play is an absolute gift."
Actor playing Victor UK production 2010
Dolphin Theatre, Auckland, New Zealand 2009
"Peter Colley has created a just-right generator of gasps and guffaws with this tale about two nattering professors, who turn a holiday in the Canadian wilderness into something more than just an argument about life and death." Columbia Tribune
CLICK ON REVIEWS BELOW TO SEE LARGER VERSION
Set from Upper Canada
Click on pictures to see larger version
David Thomson and Kim Sean Cousin, Photos by K. Clarke
David Thomson and Howard Siegel, Photo by K. Clarke
From Western Canada Theatre Company (Kamloops) / Gateway Theatre (Vancouver) Co-Production
For more info on this production CLICK HERE
River City Theatre (Left) Columbia Entertainment (Right)
Fort Gordon Theatre
From the ETH Theatre, Hamburg, Germany
Brighton Theatre, 2009
Te Kuiti Theatre New Zealand, 2010
The Lighthouse Theatre, Meaford Opera House, City Playhouse, Vaughan Tour - 2011.
Script Available From:
The Playwrights Guild of Canada
401 Richmond St. W., Suite 350
Toronto ON, M5V 3A8
Tel: (416) 703-0201 Fax: 416) 703-0059
WEB SITE: www.playwrightsguild.ca E-MAIL: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Playwrights Guild handles the amateur rights of this play in Canada. For all other rights please contact the author at
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British version of this script available from:
Samuel French Ltd.
24 - 32 Stephenson Way London NW1 2HD Tel: (44207) 387-9373
Samuel French (London) handles the amateur and professional rights of this play in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and some other English-speaking countries, but NOT Canada or the USA. For information on all rights contact the author at:
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