The Play’s still the Thing
This fall, Soulpepper is presenting the return of one of its most successful production’s, The Play’s the Thing. Based on Ferenc Molnar’s 1926 Hungarian script and with a faithful adaption by P.G. Wodehouse, this stylish romantic comedy set on the Italian Rivera pokes fun at the behind-the-scenes life in the theatre. Reprising his role as Almady in this highly anticipated remount is C. David Johnson.
Johnson describes Molnar’s play as a love letter to the stage. “It’s full of love of theatre, love of actors and a love of language,” says Johnson, while noting how the playwright experimented with the absurdist style, “Molnar starts out the play with three men going, ‘gee isn’t it difficult to begin a play.’ All of a sudden that fourth wall has been broken down, a slightly absurdist situation to start the play. And then it proceeds to poke a lot of fun at playwriting and the theatre and the absurdity of actors and egos.”
This will be Johnson’s third time being part of Soulpepper’s production for The Play’s the Thing but he first starred in the production at Theatre Calgary in 1985 in the role as the young lover, Albert Adam.
Along with Johnson, this production will feature the return of Diego Matamoros and William Webster. Joining them will be new cast members Gordon Hecht as the young composer, Albert, and Raquel Duffy as the Prima Madonna, Ilona. Johnson says the new cast members will help “bring new life into the show.”
Why is the play such an enduring crowd pleaser for new and returning Soulpepper audiences? “There’s a lot of fun in it, there’s a lot of laughs in it, but there’s also a lot of heart in it,” reflects Johnson, “getting it up in front of an audience is just a blast. The audiences just eat it up, they love it.”
The Play’s the Thing is on stage September 2 to October 14th. For tickets visit soulpepper.ca
C. David Johnson, photo supplied by Artist. C. David Johnson and Allegra Fulton, photo Cylla von Tiedemann (2003 production). Jim Warren, C. David Johnson, and Allegra Fulton, photo: Cylla von Tiedemann (2003 production).