Delicious Lies runs at the Chemainus Theatre Festival from April 26 to May 18.

Delicious Lies runs at the Chemainus Theatre Festival from April 26 to May 18.

Delicious Lies set to premiere at Chemainus Theatre Festival April 26

Adaptation of 17th century play combines "sophisticated clowning" with the art of storytelling.

The Chemainus Theatre Festival aims to offer entertainment and new theatrical experiences with the upcoming production of Delicious Lies.

As a special adaptation of 1671 comedy Les Fourberies de Scapin (“Scapin’s Deceits”) by French playwright Molière, the show brings a fresh approach to physical farce to the Chemainus Theatre Festival.

From April 26 to May 18, audiences can discover just how far the truth can be twisted before fraying out of control. The unique story fuses elements of spaghetti western, circus and the predecessor of vaudeville and Seinfeld, seamlessly woven into an uproarious fable of scheming lovers, mistaken identities and clownish greedy servants.

Delicious Lies is a unique play that combines sophisticated clowning with good storytelling. It is derived from the work of Molière, considered to be a master of comedy in Western literature, and retains the writer/actor/director’s personal enjoyment for the commedia dell’arte — an improvisational style of performance that emphasized physical interaction between people, situations and point of view.

The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s artistic director, Mark DuMez, believes that the playful diversity in style and light-hearted plot will appeal to a range of audiences.

Molière’s original play is often adapted, most notably as Scapino! by Frank Dunlop and Jim Dale, and Scapin, by Bill Irwin and Mark O’Donnell. Like most, The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s presentation translates and modernizes the French-language story for today’s audience, while retaining the play’s original structure and plot.

Delicious Lies tells the story of Scapin, an arrogant and pompous servant to the household of Geronte. He believes in only one version of truth — his own — and uses all nature of trickery to achieve his self-ambitions. In his latest caper, Scapin has promised to help his young charge Léandre and neighbour boy Octave save their new relationships.

The mixed story lines and vaudevillian style of Delicious Lies require flawless comedic wit and timing.

“We’ve got a great bunch of seasoned pros ready to dive into the text and physicality required for the show,” says DuMez. “We’ve been talking with the scenic designer about what tricks we might incorporate to support the lively text.”

The cast includes: the two old men — Geronte (Timothy Brummond) and Argante (Michelle Lieffertz) — who have been away on business and arrive home with a surprise for their respective sons — Leander (Darren Burkett) and Octave (Ben Elliott) — who have fallen in love with gypsy girl Zerbinette (Samantha Currie) and the penniless foreigner Hyacinth (Ella Simon), and the wily servants Scapin (Thomas Jones) or Sylvestre (Brian Linds) who are left holding the bag as things twist and turn between the two families.

The role of Scapin is particularly pivotal to the show. A classic theatrical persona in commedia dell’arte, everything from his name (related to the English word “escape”) to his self-interested pursuits guide the overarching theme of the play. The character is a proud schemer, a scoundrel, and a jack-of-all-trades, known to cause confusion of anything he undertakes. He adapts quickly to changing scenarios, often inciting disorder for his own self-preservation. True to this style, Molière’s Scapin is the tie that binds each character to his story of mischief and revenge.

Tickets are now available for evening performances (Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.) and matinee shows (Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.) through The Chemainus Theatre Festival box office at 1-800-565-7738 and online through www.chemainustheatre.ca.

Theatre-goers who seek a deeper understanding of the show can attend on “Talk-back Wednesday,” when a lively Q&A session with the actors and artistic team is held to provide insight about the script and production. There is no extra charge to attend either the Wednesday matinee or evening performance.

 

Just Posted

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley was passed up for a cabinet position by Premier John Horgan. (Photo submitted)
Op-Ed: Modernizing forestry and prioritizing reconciliation

Doug Routley writes on Fairy Creek and Central Walbran Valley old growth deferrals

The log retaining wall that supports the access road to the Ladysmith Community Marina is failing and needs to be replaced. (Cole Schisler photo)
Remediation work for community marina access road expected to be costly

A log retaining wall between the access road and the parking area is failing and must be replaced

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Ladysmith Harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water harbour, none of them threatening

More and more graffiti has appeared in Ladysmith’s downtown core during the pandemic. (Cole Schisler photo)
Council creates rebate program to encourage graffiti clean up

Property owners can receive up to $50 to help fund graffiti removal

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read