May 24th, 2023Creswick Theatre Co does Arsenic and Old Lace
Creswick Theatre Company has been having a wickedly good time preparing to stage dark comedy Arsenic and Old Lace.
The script by American playwright Joseph Kesselring was written in 1939 and sweeps its audience into the world of two (seemingly) dear older ladies, the Brewster sisters, who live with their nephew in Brooklyn.
The gals are sweet and welcoming older ladies who just happen to have a personal practice of murdering single men – to save them from being lonely.
“It’s a farce,” says director of the Creswick Theatre Company version, Jenni Sewell. “It’s a very funny script, subtle but clever, and there’s bits in it where we just crack up in rehearsals.”
The original Arsenic and Old Lace made its Broadway debut in 1941, enjoyed a successful three-year run, and went on to be made famous by the 1944 film adaptation directed by Frank Capra and starring Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster.
The Creswick Theatre Company production features a cast of 13 and is being staged over June 16-25 with four evening shows and two matinees, and tickets are on sale through Humanitix online.
Jenni says they’re selling, so best not mess about if you want to be sure of catching it.
“We have a seating limit so if people really want to see it they should get tickets.”
Elly Kries has one of the lead roles as Martha Brewster and, when The Local dropped in on a recent rehearsal, was obviously having a rollicking good time getting into character for the part. But there are challenges.
“It’s really hard when everyone’s breaking up laughing, not to crack up yourself and just keep performing the part,” Elly said.
“It’s a great script and I do like playing dress-ups and being someone else for a little while.”
There are plenty of strong character parts including Elaine the minister’s rather naughty daughter played by Imogen Nooney.
“She’s a bit saucy, a bit more worldly then a minister’s daughter really should be,” Imogen said of her character.
Delacombe’s Ellen Scott plays Officer O’Hara, an interesting character as well.
“He could best be described as duplicitous,” Ellen said. “He lives one life to earn his keep but has been writing a play… for twelve years.”
Like many of his fellow cast members, Ballarat’s Chris Andrew has been with CTC for a while and has appeared on stage in previous productions with this lively little community theatre company. For Arsenic and Old Lace he’s playing Dr Reverend Harper.
“It’s a challenging role but I love it,” he said. “It’s heaps of fun. I love being on stage and bringing fun and laughter for the audience.”
Tickets are through Humanitix.com