Thursday, 19 May 2016

ONstage Tonight at Festival: Northumberland Players

Northumberland Players' production
of Boeing Boeing
It’s been fourteen years since Northumberland Players represented the Eastern Ontario Drama League (EODL) at Theatre Ontario Festival—but the Cobourg community theatre turns this year, and they’re bringing this week’s comedy with Marc Camoletti’s Boeing Boeing, translated by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans in the new 2008 version that was performed on Broadway.

The “youngest” of the four theatre companies performing this week, the history of Northumberland Players begins with an initial meeting at an old farmhouse in late summer of 1976. Several fledgling and veteran actors, directors, and producers were primarily interested in providing as many opportunities as possible for the community at large to enjoy theatre. Numerous gatherings followed at various homes in the surrounding area to plant the seeds for the subsequent birth of the Northumberland Players.  This is only their second time at Theatre Ontario Festival; their first was in 2002 in Sarnia when they presented Jesus Chris Superstar, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice.

In this delightful farce, bachelor, bon-vivant and man-about town Bernard lives a perfect life in swinging 1960’s Paris, juggling three gorgeous fiancées, all of whom are international flight attendants working different schedules. Throw in old friend Robert and a new and speedier Boeing jet into the mix and soon lies, excuses and convolutions are flying around faster than the jets. Catastrophe looms large … oh, and did we mention the maid?

At EODL Festival 2016, Northumberland Players won the Leslie M. Frost Award for Best Production, Best Director (James Finan), Best Actor in a Major Role (Jamie Hunt as Robert), Best Visual Presentation, and Best Costuming (Jamie Finan), with nominations for Best Actress in a Major Role (Helen Matthew as Berthe), Acting Excellence (David Hoare as Bernard), Acting Excellence (Jody Ledgerwood as Gabriella and Anne-Marie Bouthillette as Gretchen), Set Design (James Finan).

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