Ed & Ed and GMTF 2011

by Jeff Pitcher on June 22, 2011

Opened “Ed & Ed’s B & B – Where you’re a Stranger but Once” on May 26 at the Warehouse Theatre in Cow Head. This year’s production features Rory Lambert as old Ed. It’s great to have Rory with us in Cow Head. In recent years he’s been working in Trinity and also does the yearly Revue Show. We’ve talked for years about getting him out here for a summer but he’s a pretty in demand actor so it’s just never worked out until this year. His performance is absolutely hilarious – off the wall, crazy-funny but also, honest with an underlying sense of truth. Playing across from Rory as young Ed is young Evan Mercer from Shearstown. Just starting his career, I saw him last summer in Cupids starring as Lysander in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” across from Andy Jones and directed by Brad Hodder. He was funny, smart and seemed much more accomplished than his young years and he’s proved it playing young Ed for us. Not an easy task playing across from Rory – you gotta be good! Willow Kean, GMTF veteran of nine season plays Mary, Ed’s ex-wife. Willow is as solid (and funny!) as ever as the ‘scary’ Mary. Anna Wheeler plays the young GMTF actress Claire who’s really somebody else who’s really…I won’t go there. She’s from St. John’s and about to enter her fourth year in the Ryerson Theatre Acting Program. Anna actually attended one of our first Stage Head Academies – a two week theatre intensive in Cow Head for students between the ages of 16 and 18. She’s simply terrific and brings a very slick sense of comedic timing and confidence to the role. Rounding out the cast is John Dartt, the ‘lost tourist.’ This is John’s sixth season at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival and brings a wealth of experience to our stage along with some of the most eccentric and wonderful characters to grace the Warehouse stage.

We decided to open this one first because of how complicated it is in terms of blocking. The set, designed by Derek Butt, is classic ‘British’ farce with 6 slamming doors and a secret spinning wall of booze. Last year at its premiere, we rehearsed the entire thing in the church hall with the walls and doors taped out on the floor, moved into the theatre and on to the set for the last three panic-filled days of technical rehearsals – learning to use the doors for the first time! It was a nightmare. This year we spent our full two and half weeks rehearsing on the set with the doors which made for a less panicked opening. There’s only one show in a season that gets the full use of the stage like this because once the plays start to open, the theatre is in constant use doing change overs from one set to another. There’s a different performance in the Warehouse every night during the summer, daytimes are taken up with the breakdown of one set and the set-up of the next performance.

So we’re off and running at GMTF 2011 – 1 down, 6 to go!

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