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Three Ladies of Orpington

a Drama
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Daniel Guyton

COMPANY : Onion Man Productions [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onion Man [WEBSITE]
ID# 5127

SHOWING : October 13, 2017 - October 29, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION


Three Ladies of Orpington by Daniel Guyton
A Southern Gothic British Victorian Death Comedy
Directed by Scott Rousseau
​World Premiere!
October 13th to 29th
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
(No Thursday or Sunday show during the first weekend of the run.)​
​Three upper crust women in Victorian Era England must face a brutal reality when the patriarch of the family passes away, leaving them with no money and with little hope for the future. When a strange man appears at the doorway, it seems that hope may be restored. Or will it only get worse from here?
*Top Ten Semifinalist in the Stanley Drama Award Competition, 2017*
*Announced as a finalist in the Kitchen Dog Theatre 2017 New Works Competition*
*This play contains mature content
and brief nudity**
Featuring:  Tyler Buckingham, John Courtney, Sadye Elizabeth, Lisa Gordon and Kate Guyton


CAST & CREW LIST
Playwright Daniel Guyton
Producer James Beck
Director Scott F. Rousseau
Stage Manager Chris Franken
Sound Designer Amy L. Levin
Crew Cathy Seith
Mr. Babcock Tyler Buckingham
Mr. Fennimore John Courtney
Elenore Sadye Elizabeth
Maude Lisa Gordon
Henrietta Kate Guyton
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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For the Ladies
by playgoer
Sunday, October 29, 2017
4.0
It’s always delightful when the last moment of a play ties up everything that’s only been hinted at before. Daniel Guyton’s "Three Ladies of Orpington" is such a play. The final sound effect of a glass jar being shattered explains why window panes are broken to gain entry to a house and why a character appears wet on the driest of days. There’s a supernatural element to it all that may seem a bit out there to some folks, but it all ties together with a satisfying spookiness.

Amy Levin’s sound design works quite well, with surround sound effects adding to the sense of impending dread in the material. Musical interludes cover the frequent set changes, with the music getting spookier and more insistent as the play proceeds.

The play takes place in 1853, to judge by a date and a year span mentioned in the text. There’s an anachronistic reference to Mason jars, which were patented in 1858, but Nancye Hilley’s costumes do a good job of setting the time period. This is a handsome production, including Chris Franken’s props; fine makeup all around, particularly for Sadye Elizabeth and Lisa Gordon; fine blood effects in Tyler Buckingham’s kinetic fight choreography; James Beck’s charming lighting design, which includes an evocative fireplace effect; and Scott Rousseau’s set that uses a minimum of set pieces to portray various locations within a house.

The first three scenes of the play all take place in the sitting room of the home shared by the three ladies of Orpington (daughter, mother, and grandmother). The set pieces are rotated 90 degrees between each of these scenes. It’s a totally unnecessary change, but hints that the story will be more skewed than straightforward, and it allows director Scott Rousseau to invent interesting blocking for each of the scenes. The blocking is first-rate throughout, although actors lying on the floor may not be totally visible to all members of the audience.

Blocking does not make a play, though; performances do, and here we have fine performances all around. Lisa Gordon gives grandmother Maude a sly, comic edge that plays off against Kate Guyton’s Henrietta, whose flights of dramatic fancy are overlaid with humorlessness, which in itself becomes funny. Sadye Elizabeth, as Henrietta’s daughter Elenore, gets more emotional moments, giving a touching portrayal that even so contains moments of teen-aged giddiness. John Courtney gives stolid Mr. Fennimore a pleasing presence onstage, and Tyler Buckingham has the swooningly good looks that will make his scene of full-frontal nudity a highlight of the show for the ladies, along with acting skills that lead his character from the charming to the menacing. Director Scott Rousseau has helped the actors shape their roles to emphasize comic moments inherent in the script and to end scenes with business that puts a button on the scenes.

Is the production all it could be? Ms. Guyton and Ms. Elizabeth appear to be too close in age to be mother and daughter, and Ms. Guyton doesn’t add all the layers that the character of Henrietta could have. The script doesn’t satisfactorily explain why the death of the family’s patriarch came about. (We know he finds out the truth about something sinister, but we don’t learn what he planned to do with the information.) The transition from the comic to the spooky seems to come a bit late. But overall, this is a terrific production that makes wonderful use of the tiny Onion Man stage and tells an intriguing tale audiences are lapping up. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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