Cast members of the St. Andrew’s Players production of Drinking Habits (left to right) Rae-Marie Leggott, Martin Pedersen and Chuck Peeren rehearse their parts for the show that opens Aug. 23 in Summerland. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Laugh out loud Okanagan theatre group production

The St. Andrew’s Players production of Drinking Habits hits the stage Aug. 23 for nine shows

Just like its title, the play Drinking Habits is more than a little off the top when it comes to the humour factor.

Described as a “laugh-out-loud, farcical, two-act play that just might leave you wiping tears from your cheeks” is this summer’s offering by the St. Andrew’s Players.

Opening Aug. 23 and going until Aug. 25 in Summerland, there will be a total of nine performances including two each in Oliver, Penticton and for the first time in West Kelowna.

READ MORE: Christmas classic comes to ‘life’ on stage at Okanagan church

Fittingly, all are at wineries, Saxon, Church and State, Township 7 and Kalala, respectively.

“It’s a spectacular piece of work, it’s very very funny, it’s a farce so it’s something like Fawlty Towers, not only a comedy but a crazy comedy,” said Colin Cross, St. Andrews Players director. “It depends on mistaken identity and disguise and people popping in and out of closets because they’ve been spying on each other and perceived threats.

“If you’re running summer theatre you always want to do something on the light side, so together with the nature of the play and sure enough it’s been really rewarding plus it’s got a theological theme.”

Cross is the pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church as well and they usually do Shakespeare play in the summer, but decided to try something different.

“It’s really fun and not only that, it’s not cheap humour. It’s not sardonic, it’s not mocking, there’s no disrespect at all to the Catholic church and religious folk in general. It’s just good humour taking off on human nature,” said Cross. “It’s not sexual. I get very tired of sexual humour. You just have to turn on American television and you’re flooded with it. It’s nice not to be bombarded all the time.

“This is the kind of thing you bring a family to.”

Written by U.S. playwright Tom Smith, it takes place in a small struggling Catholic convent inhabited by a mother superior and two other nuns called the Sisters of Perpetual Sewing who repair garments but that’s not paying the bills.

So unknown to the mother superior the other two nuns begin making wine which garners attention for its quality.

READ MORE: St. Andrew’s returns to Narnia

Other characters then begin to appear including a pair of investigative reporters who are a couple and disguise themselves as a priest and nun with little or no knowledge of Catholicism and a real nun who mysteriously shows up, it turns out having been sent by the cardinal.

“Once you wind everything up in a farce it begins to unravel in the second act and get more and more funny all the time,” said Cross.

“It’s a brilliant play with an exquisite plot and very funny and it has a very happy ending.”

Other show dates include; Aug. 26 and 29 in Oliver, Aug. 30 and 31 in West Kelowna and Sept. 1 and 2 in Penticton. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 at the door or in advance at host wineries and Dragon’s Den Penticton. Children 12 and under are free.


 

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