Ladysmith Little Theatre’s production of A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room is full of irony, humour, and character.
The Dining Room featured performances by Victor Duffhues, Inge Cathers, Dave Ehrismann, Josee Duffhues, Charles Harman, and Judy Lynk. The six actors played 54 parts, each equally as entertaining as the last. The play was directed by Mort Paul, produced by Susan Carthy, with Carol Fowler as stage manager
As the actors inhabited different characters, they tackled social issues, politics, and family dynamics within a North American dining room. Gurney wrote the play in the 1980s as a reflection on the fading culture of upper middle class white anglo Saxon protestants, (WASPs). There is even a scene where a young anthropology student asks his WASP aunt about their old dining habits as part of a study on the eating habits of “vanishing cultures”.
Ladysmith Little Theatre went to great lengths to include the audience as guests at dinner party. Seating arrangements were set up like dining room tables. The arrangement gave the play sense of community — as if the audience was invited to a grand dinner party.
Each act in the play ends with a dinner party. At the very end of the play, one of the characters, played by Josee Duffhues, addresses the audience and shares a soliloquy about their wish to host the perfect dinner party. Then, the whole cast comes out and sits down for the “perfect dinner party”. A character played by Victor Duffhues then stands up and asks, “is every body happy?”, to which all the characters reply, “yes”.
Ladysmith Little Theatre’s production of The Dining Room provides exactly what it sought out to — the perfect dinner party.
The show is entering its final week of performances. There will be performances Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, and a Sunday afternoon matinee. Sunday October 6 will be the final show.