Have you been wondering how you might acknowledge, as opposed to celebrate, Halloween this year? You need to search no farther than the Waterworks Theatre. The present play Murderer is most appropriate for Halloween because it is a macabre treat filled with tricks. Another Shaffer takes a mundane love triangle and introduces twists and turns which hardly can be absorbed before the next shock occurs.
Norman Bartholomew, played by Chris Brochon, is a student of murder. He has studied the reasons, techniques, and results of infamous murderers and has reached a personal philosophical analysis of the heinous. Brochon is masterful in his command of this character and his person conflict of fantasy versus reality. He approaches this fantasy with relish-or was it mustard. Brochon definitely has the lion’s share of lines and he demonstrates his uncanny capability to assume a variety of British accents. His facial expressions and body language are most convincing and crucial to the movement of the plot. Sarah Gayle gives a creditable performance as Norman’s young mistress Millie Sykes. She is consumed by frustration with Norman who doesn’t seem to be concluding his marriage fast enough to suit her The third point of the triangle, Norman’s wife Elizabeth, is played by Elizabeth Whiley. Whiley is cool, disinterested, and disdainful of Norman and his fling. Brochon becomes a different Norman with her. Is he the braggadocio of his research or is he spineless and ineffectual? Round out the cast is Jordan Whiley. While is, as usual, excellent in developing his character. Sgt. Stenning may be a provincial officer but he is insulted by Norman’s crass approach to murder and his insensitivity to Sykes’s position.
New to Waterworks is a stage with seats on three sides. This seating is most appropriate for this play because the close proximity of the audience to the stage makes the eerie atmosphere more pronounced. Director Dudley Suave and his huge crew have again created an intricate and fascinating set in a relatively small space. The lighting, and sometimes the lack thereof, is quite effective-again, adding to the overall atmosphere. The background music in the beginning of the play is crucial to the suspense generated. Joe Brown, stage manager and lighting designer; Stephanie Trovato, light board operator; and Rick Neller, sound creator, are to be commended for jobs well done. Convincing production are often the result of the hard work backstage.
Murderer is a fun and challenging show fit for “the season.” When you go, you might want to sit next so someone who doesn’t mind having his/her hand squeezed unmercifully for the first half hour! Because of the theme, concerns, and incidentally spicy language, the play is recommended for a mature audience. Murderer will be performed October 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m.