Roleplay to unravel in Ladysmith

Ladysmith is a long way from Broadway.Yet this month the red carpet will be rolling out at our own Little Theatre.Actors have been busily preparing and learning their roles for the Canadian premiere of the British comedy, Roleplay, opening March 10.The story centres around a young pair of software designers in a posh London apartment.“And tonight is the night they decide to invite their respective parents over and tell their parents they are getting engaged,” said Susan McChesney, the play’s director.The Little Theatre stage is transformed into a decked-out London flat over looking the Thames River, which came with a few challenges.“Ladysmith Theatre itself is kind of small.“What we’re trying to create is a really expansive looking apartment. “They have like floor-to-ceiling windows,” McChesney said of the dwelling.“It’s been challenging trying to create that, but I think we’ve done it.”The story begins to unravel when the character’s fiancee freaks out about missing a dessert fork.“She gets really crazy and stupid about it,” said McChesney.She searches the entire apartment complex and after leaving no utensil drawer un-turned, she is forced into the night.Meanwhile at home, the lead character, Justin, is startled when he hears a woman screaming outside his window.“There’s this girl who’s hanging on for dear life just above his balcony. The woman, who is trying to escape her seedy mate, is brought into the apartment and given the chance to clean up.All this happens just as the parents are arriving, a bodyguard comes knocking and a confused and angry fiancee returns home.“It is all kind of mixed and muddled up,” said McChesney.McChesney is no stranger to the theatre having directed more than 40 shows.This was the second time McChesney has directed a community production.“I absolutely loved my cast. The neat thing is we’ve had so much fun.”“We’ve had so much laughter involved in the whole thing. It’s what I think community theatre ought to be about — teamwork and lots of fun.”McChesney said it’s been rewarding with the varied cast.This is no adaptation and is the 60th play from Alan Ayckbourn and the veteran playwright was even invited to Ladysmith for the premiere.“His personal secretary wrote back to us and said he’s having a hip replaced at the moment,” said McChesney, adding a recent stroke has also kept him in the UK.“But they wished us all the best.”For more information or to get your tickets for the big premiere, please call 250-924-0658 or visit www.ladysmiththeatre.com.