Harvesting the journey

Harvest is a comedic look into one couple’s retirement and the Chemainus Theatre’s latest production.

Norma Brown and Brian Linds are the two-man cast of Harvest

Norma Brown and Brian Linds are the two-man cast of Harvest

Brian Linds and Norma Bowen would like to take you on a wild and wonderful journey.

They are the two–man cast of Harvest, a comedic look into one couple’s retirement and the Chemainus Theatre’s latest production.

“It’s about letting go. For my character, Allan, it’s about letting go; severing the roots because he’s a very proud, stubborn farmer, and it’s time to move on,” said Linds, a professional actor since 1981. “He tries everything to make a buck and finally they get to a point they need to retire.”

Harvest, written by Ken Cameron and directed by Mark Dumez, first premiered as a one-act play in Calgary in 2008, and turned into a full-length play when it hit Ontario. The Chemainus Theatre’s production will be the West Coast premiere of the play.

It tells the story of Allan and Charlotte, an aging couple who own a farm on Vancouver Island. They decide to sell their farm and move to the city but keep their farmhouse and rent it out to a gentleman who is not all he seems.

A mystery develops when the characters are roped into a scheme, and the audience begins to unravel it along with Allan and Charlotte.

“One of the great things about it is it’s a really charming play, and the heart of the story is these two people who love what they’re doing and love each other and have to deal with all these things that are happening to them in the course of the show,” Linds said.

The two-man show is one of the most theatrical in Linds’ career because of the sheer number of characters both he and Bowen must portray.

“There’s the insurance broker, the guy who rents the farm, the farmer next door, there’s a cop that gets involved … and the real challenge about this play is that our characters in this change during the scene,” he said. “It’s a real joy and a real mind warp as well trying to remember who you’re supposed to be playing, and to do it seamlessly.”

Linds, of Victoria, has appeared on the Chemainus Theatre Festival stage twice before in Barefoot in the Park and Arsenic and Old Lace. He has also worked on sound design for the productions of Lost in Yonkers, A Doll’s House and Miracle Worker.

Bowen is a Ladysmith resident whose credits include: Annie, See How They Run, An Ideal Husband and She Stoops to Conquer.

“One of the great thing about acting is every single play, every time you work with a different group of people, there are amazing new experiences and insights into history or personalities,” Linds said. “It’s a real treat to work on something like Shakespeare, and then at the same time work on a play like Harvest, which is a Canadian play talking about local people and about how they struggle and survive.”

Linds said audience members can expect a fun, exciting show.

“They’re going to be entertained in a way that you would never get in a movie or television or most theatre experiences,” he said. “It’s not just a knockabout comedy; there’s a lot of discovery in the play and mystery as well.”

Harvest runs from Jan. 20 (preview Jan. 19) to Feb. 11. Tickets range from $33 to $39 depending which night you choose to see the show.

For more information, call the box office at 1-800-565-7738 or visit www.chemainustheatrefestival.ca.