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GWTG’s Belles: The Reunion offers mix of comedy and drama
May 6, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - May 14, 2016 @ 9:00 pm$15.00
Take six southern sisters, connect them by phone and stir them up with a series of touching and funny life lessons and what have you got? – the recipe for the Grey Wellington Theatre Guild’s (GWTG) latest stage offering, Belles: The Reunion.
When the show hits the stage at the Harriston Town Hall Theatre this spring it will mark the Canadian premiere of Mark Dunn’s sequel to his successful 1980s comedy/drama Belles.
Director John Hogg says the mix of comedy and drama works just as well, in the sequel as it did in the original, which the GWTG staged about a decade ago, maybe better.
“One minute we will have you laughing in the aisles and the next minute you will be able to hear a pin drop because of the intensity of the dialogue,” he stated.
The story revolves around the relationship between six sisters, raised in the southern U.S., but now spread across the country, having last seen each other four years ago at a relative’s funeral.
“Their main interaction is by phone. They very rarely visit each other, see each other, get involved…” says Hogg, noting “The phone calls are usually generated because Mom, who is now in a nursing home, has done something hair-brained.”
Dunn’s original play, Belles, was written in the 1980s and Belles: The Reunion is set 25 years later.
“What we’re going to fill in is the last 25 years of these ladies’ lives,” notes Hogg. “There is joy, disappointment, hardships, relationships and at the very end of the play were going to get a quick glimpse into the near future.”
Hogg says the play is a challenging one for the actors, given the unique format and setting.
“It’s very difficult for the actors because there is no interaction. While they are all onstage and sitting eight feet apart, they are thousands of miles apart in reality. We have them anywhere from a patio in Santa Fe to an apartment den in New York City.”
Fortunately, he notes, “We have a very seasoned cast, very talented, dedicated and hardworking. They’ve all done a great job at transforming themselves into the characters that they’re portraying.”
The cast consists of Flora Burke, Caroline Wollis, Tali McGovern, Laurie Aitken, Roslyn Fortier and Helen Craigie, all Mount Forest area residents, with experience in past GWTG productions.
Belles: The Reunion runs May 6, 7, 12, 13 & 14 at 7:30pm and May 8 at 2pm at the Harriston Town Hall Theatre. Tickets are $15 at Harriston Home Hardware, Walsh’s IDA in Mount Forest or call 519-338-2778. For information go to www.greywellingtontheatre.com.