4:30 p.m., Aug. 15)
Outdoor murder mystery production a wonderful whodunnit
By Fred Sherwin
Waterford, played by Sebastien Melbourne,
appears to be in a great deal of discomfort
during a scene in the Vintage Stock murder
mystery production of 'Nursing a Grudge'.
Chantal G. Desilets/Pphoto
it comes to murder mystery theatre, the Cumberland-based
Vintage Stock Theatre company has truly perfected the
genre as evident by their latest produc-tion, “Nursing
a Grudge”, written and directed by Marni Hunt-Stephens
and produced by Emélie Perron-Clow.
has become tradition, VST’s murder mystery is performed
on the grounds of the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
and the story takes place during a moment in the former
township’s history – in this case at the outset of the
First World War.
writing “Nursing a Grudge”, Hunt Stephens has truly outdone
herself in the number of plot twists the audience is left
trying to navigate through, and the number of suspects
they must whittle down in trying to indentify the murderer.
plot is based on the efforts that were made to recruit
young women into the nursing ranks during the war effort.
Besides the big cities, recruting officers were sent to
small towns and villages like Cumberland to tug on the
townfolks’ patriotic heart strings.
“Nursing a Grudge”, the job of recruiting new nurses is
left up to Boer War veteran Wilfrid Waters and his wife/nurse
Elizabeth Waters. They have a willing audience in at least
two of the village’s young women – Gertrude Haverley and
Prunella Waterford. The latter is the daughter of the
local Reverend who is none too keen about her wanting
to become a nurse.
the same time, the Waters arrive in town, female adventurer
Eunice Younkers has stopped by during a break in her cross-Canada
speaking tour. While in town she is reunited with a paramour
she met while in the Yukon – town handyman Lancelot Lewis,
who is also under Reverend Waterford’s thumb.
rest of the cast of characters includes Gertrude’s younger
sisters, Guinevere and Gretchen, along with their mother
Geraldine; Gilbert Grainger the town’s resident inventor;
Vera Ellis, a spinster who also has ties to the Reverend;
and Portia Cullen, a fellow adventurer whose plane crashes
into a chicken coop.
of the leading characters in the Vintage Stock
Theatre production of 'Nursing a Grudge' are
Eunice Younkers, played by Sam Lipovski, and
Gilbert Grainger, played by Scott Stewart.
Chantal G. Desilets/Photo
all of the characters have a motive to commit murder.
The question the audience is left to answer is which one
of them did it?
Stock Theatre murder mystery productions are known for
the lively interaction between the characters and the
audience which is encouraged to ask questions throughout
the play, and afterwards when members of the cast mingle
about the tables during dinner.
production wraps up just after dessert as one by one each
cast member is ruled out as a suspect until the guilty
party is revealed.
cast of “Nursing a Grudge” includes several new faces
such as Judy Armstrong, who plays Geraldine Haverley;
Pascale Lachance who plays Portia Cullen; and Danielle
Pabstel who plays Mrs. Waters.
performances stood out in particular were by Sam Lipovski
who played Eunice Younkers; Nik Cotter who played Lancelot
Lewis; and Vintage Stock veteran Sebastien Melbourne who
played the Reverend.
Stock Theatre’s next production will be a Shades of the
Evening redux of their 2007 lamplight production of “Outrage:
The McGonigle Murders” based on the 1890 abduction and
murder of sisters Mary, 12, and Eliza McGonigle, 14. For
ticket information visit www.vintagestock.on.ca.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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