What does a motorcycle have to do with the opening show of the Sudbury Theatre Centre season, Henry and Alice: Into the Wild?
Henry is a middle-aged engineer who has had his job downsized. Lavish holidays become a thing of the past and a good, old-fashioned camping trip becomes the benchmark of vacations of the future. But Henry knows nothing about camping.
We join Henry (Micheal Querin) and Alice (Jane Hackett) on their first camping trip, much to the chagrin of Alice, who prefers a five-star vacation. How hard can it be to erect a tent? Or make a fire?
The comedy comes fast and furious with clever dialogue from playwright Michele Riml, along with brilliant touches from director Marcia Tratt. Add to this a seasoned, professional cast who are masters of comedy and you have theatre magic.
Sudbury audiences have a chance to spend another evening with Henry and Alice, the characters from Sexy Laundry, part of STC’s 2008-09 season. Remember the middle-aged Henry and Alice in the hotel room looking for marital inspiration from their how-to manual,“Sex for Dummies?”
Actor Jo-Anne Kirwan Clark, a veteran of 10 years at Shaw Festival, plays Alice’s sister Diana, who bursts upon the scene on her motorcycle to spend an evening by the campfire with Henry and Alice.
Diana seems to be living the dream. She is up for adventure 24/7, even with the noisy campground neighbours. She plunges in with both feet, making new male friends faster than you can say Honda Rebel.
Kirwan Clark is certain audiences will be delighted with the fast pace of the show. “We put up a tent, chop wood, make meals, move furniture … In rehearsal, we keep bursting out laughing as we figure out how to do everything while remembering all the lines.”
Kirwan Clark said she is confident the audience will relate to this production, not only because the set is absolutely fantastic — “It looks like a great Canadian Shield campsite” — but because so many families deal with the same pressures as Henry and Alice.
Artistic Director David Savoy has managed to snag a hot-off-the-press new script to begin the STC season. It was a leap of faith that Henry and Alice: Into the Wild will be as popular with Sudbury audiences as Sexy Laundry. And that leap is about to pay off as audiences roar at the camping ineptitude of the master of the house.
Henry and Alice: Into the Wild plays at STC Sept. 27 to Oct. 14. For tickets, phone 705-674-8381 ext. 21 or go to sudburytheatre.on.ca.
Northern Life is giving away two tickets to this production. Visit us on Facebook for contest details.