By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
Stellar news for Edmonton theatre-goers! After 11 years of being an “exciting prospect,” Collin Doyle’s long-awaited Slumberland Motel will actually arrive on stage next season — at Shadow Theatre.
Billed as “a road-weary comedy,” the 2006 Alberta Playwriting Competition winner finds Ed and Edward, two ‘70s era vacuum cleaner salesmen, sucking up the dust of disillusion as they share a cheap roadside motel room. The unexpected arrival of a mystery woman from the next room could change all that.
Doyle is the Edmonton-based playwright whose humour has found its way into edgy and moving landscapes in the roistering black comedy The Mighty Carlins or the heartbreaking comedy Let The Light of Day Through. The premiere of Slumberland Motel is directed by Shadow Theatre artistic director John Hudson, and stars Julien Arnold and Reed McColmn.
The Shadow season opens with another bright prospect, Constellations by the English playwright Nick Payne. Since its origins at London’s Royal Court in 2012, Constellations has traced a starry path through reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. It transferred to the West End a year later, and had a Broadway production starring Ruth Wilson and Jake Gyllenhaal in 2015.
The two-hander is a sort of metaphysical romance between a physicist who specializes in quantum multiverse theory and a beekeeper. And it explores the infinite possibilities of love, and the parallel universes of choices and consequences.
Amy DeFelice, of Trunk Theatre, directs; Mat Busby and Lianna Shannon co-star. And, speaking of multiverses, DeFelice’s Shadow production marks the return to theatre of musician/ composer/ actor/ playwright Chris Wynters of Captain Tractor, who designs the sound.
The upcoming Shadow season also includes John Patrick Shanley’s 2014 romantic comedy Outside Mullingar. It charts the fortunes of two antagonist 40-something (and single!) Irish farmers. Hudson directs a cast that includes Coralie Cairns, Glenn Nelson, Jenny McKillop, and Garett Ross.
And the season finale is Fly Me To The Moon, a riotous dark comedy by Belfast playwright Marie Jones (Stones In His Pockets). The gist is that a couple of home-care workers, strapped for cash, decide on a course of action that involves the cashing the pension cheques of their recently deceased client. Hudson directs; his cast has yet to be announced.
Shadow Theatre subscriptions: 780-434-5564, TIX on the Square (780-420-1757, tixonthesquare.ca)