Gore Bay Theatre prepares this year’s QUONTA entry

Peter the janitor (John Robertson) meets derelicts Sprug (John Hawke) and Aggie (Shannon McMullan) in the Gore Bay Theatre production of Rex Deverell’s ‘Boiler Room Suite.’ The play will take to the boards on March 10, 11 and 12.

GORE BAY—‘Boiler Room Suite,’ this year’s Gore Bay Theatre entry in the QUONTA Festival competition will present a challenge for the actors, particularly John Hawke and Shannon McMullan, who will have to perform a variety of roles in the play’s fantasy sequences, but as luck and planning would have it, both thespians have considerable experience before the footlights.

“It will be, um, tough,” admits Andrea Emmerton, who is co-directing the production with Walter Maskell. “Well they are all tough, but this play has many challenges. There are layers upon layers to it.”

This will be actor John Robertson’s first “serious” play, although he has had a great deal of experience in musicals among other acting gigs. “He is very good,” said the director.

The play is by a Canadian playwright and Ms. Emmerton notes that Theatre Ontario is encouraging Canadian plays in their festival, taking place in Ottawa this year, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. “All three plays in this year’s QUONTA festival have been written by Canadians,” she said.

‘Boiler Room Suite’ by Rex Deverell “is a wonderful Canadian play about Aggie and Sprugg, two derelicts who have taken refuge in the boiler room of an old hotel to find warmth. The ‘boiler room suite is Aggie’s secret hideout,” notes Ms. Emmerton in a synopsis she provided to The Expositor. “Aggie was once an actress, Sprugg was once a poet. Together they while away an evening and a jug of wine in their sanctuary. Their sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic comradeship reveals much about being poor in material possessions and having a wealth of imagination. When Pete, the custodian appears, the drama intensifies with the boiler room becoming alternatively their heaven or their hell, with powerful results.”

“The world the Canadian playwright portrays in ‘Boiler Room Suite’ is one of loss, regret, sorrow, humiliation, despair and loneliness,” notes critic Robert Reid in The Waterloo Record.  “Conversely, it’s a world of warmth, imagination, caring, compassion, kindness and hope.”

The multi-award winning theatre troupe has never failed to bring engaging and high quality theatre to the Gore Bay stage, and with the depth of talent of the cast and crew in this production, ‘Boiler Room Suite’ is bound to continue that stellar track record.

‘Boiler Room Suite’ will take to the stage at the Gore Bay Community Centre 7:30 pm on March 10 and 11, with a 2:30 pm matinee performance on Sunday, March 12. All tickets are $18 and are available only at the door.